New marketing technologies and opportunities often result in a shift in marketing investments. Unfortunately, it seems that traditional PR has drawn the short straw in some cases, as it seems that fewer brands are employing the trusted and proven Public Relations strategy.
With the continuous revolving door of the digital world today, we’ve seen digital trends that have come and gone and many that have come and stayed. In some cases, brands are employing “Public Relations-like” strategies and tactics, like Influencer Marketing, Content Marketing, and ramping up Social Media efforts, three trends that have certainly come to stay.
These strategies are certainly worthy components of a comprehensive marketing plan — they are very effective when executed well. My only point here is that traditional PR is too. We dive deeper into that in our recent article Does Traditional PR Still Work? (Spoiler alert: the answer is yes.)
PR Holds a Unique Opportunity
Public Relations allows brands the opportunity to tell their story through a variety of outlets and sources. A company’s Voice, shared through a strategic PR program, allows brands to consistently communicate the right message, in the right tone, to their core audience in a combination of ways. When a customer reads, hears and sees consistent messaging about a company, what they stand for and their unique value proposition from a variety of sources, it’s a powerful thing. It reinforces messaging from advertising, content and influencers, making them stronger and more effective.
With less brands working a strategic Public Relations plan though, there is a unique opportunity to really differentiate your company with a renewed focus on PR. Here’s an example. Think about Direct Mail for a moment.
Several years ago, as a side-effect of the digital revolution, Direct Mail started falling off of the radar. The mindset was that nobody read paper mail anymore. People were online, reading emails, following brands on social media and conducting their business digitally.
Over the course of that shift, many brands reallocated investments in Direct Mail into new digital opportunities. Towards the end of that shift, and holding true today, Direct Mail has resurged as a very effective strategy.
Why is Direct Mail effective today? Because not as many companies are using it, so a mailed piece really stands out to recipients. It can be targeted, it can be leveraged through other marketing methods and it can be integrated with digital components for multi-point impressions and tracking results — similar to… (drum roll please)… Public Relations.
Differentiating Your Brand Through Public Relations
We’ve found that Integrating PR, Content Marketing and Digital can be really successful. Each component builds off of one another, making each element stronger and laying the groundwork for campaigns to produce great results.
Think about your target market for a moment. Imagine one of your personas. At Callis, many of the customers we market to for our clients span across Rural America. They spend a lot of time online on various screens, on email and social platforms, but they also enjoy reading printed publications. In fact, some research we recently conducted proved that printed magazines and publications are still one of their preferred sources for information about new products.
In an environment where fewer brands are employing traditional Public Relations strategies, and paired with a strategic digital and content program, PR could be your next “Ace in the hole” to differentiate your brand from your competition, and take your business to the next level.