WHAT EXACTLY IS PR, BTW?
I don’t think a week goes by without someone asking me, “So what exactly is PR?” It’s quite remarkable when you think that PR has a hand of some sort in pretty much every story we hear about.
Even my mum still doesn’t seem to know and I’ve been working in PR for 20 years. I’m fairly sure she thinks I pay journalists to write stories about my clients, which couldn’t be further from the truth but is actually a common misconception.
PR is not advertising. Advertising is when you pay a publication or a program to run an ad that you have created yourself. You are telling people what they should think about you and your company.
PR is when a publication or program runs a story because they think their audience will be interested in it…and they do so without payment! PR is completely free!
“Hold on,” I hear you say. “Isn’t PR super expensive? Don’t you have to pay an agency thousands of dollars to get you media coverage?” Well yes, you can pay a PR agency to do your PR for you and yes that probably will cost you thousands of dollars. But you could do it yourself instead if you know how.
The only real investment is the time it takes to craft a story and reach out to journalists that write for the publications you want to get in to. The true skill of PR is about the story and creating one that is compelling enough that the media will write about it.
The next question I get asked is “Can PR really help my business?” Well firstly it adds credibility to your company because a third party is writing about you rather than you writing about yourself.
Getting media coverage makes your venture and product real. If a journalist is talking about your business in a positive light, it must be genuine!
What’s the first thing people do when they consider buying a product? They Google it! They may be looking for your company website to find out where to buy it, but the chances are they are really looking for reviews and stories from media. And if those stories rank high up in Google, they are far more likely to trust your product and buy it.
And let’s not forget, lead generation. PR is about raising awareness so people actually know your product exists and it’s about giving potential customers a reason to buy. It might be that you need to educate those potentials on what your product does and how it works and you might need to prove to them it works. PR is a great for doing all those things.
In fact I was chatting to a lady in a café the other day. She owns an amazing Occupational Therapy business that helps kids at my son’s school catch up with their reading and writing. I honestly assumed that was the beginning and end of her business. But apparently not; it appears they do a homework club, resilience classes using superhero characters, a mindfulness class, NAPLAN preparation classes and so much more. I had just assumed that Occupational Therapy was for ‘problem’ kids.
Once she explained to me what her company did and gave me some examples of how the classes had benefited the kids that come through, I signed my son up for the resilience sessions straight away. If she did PR, she would be having that conversation, not one-on-one with me, but with many people at once.
Her issue is that local families don’t really know what her business does and how it could help them. They have a big education job to do and using PR is definitely the best option for her.
Likewise I told her what we do and she too signed up straight away. We’ll now be working with her and her team to spread her message far and wide through the power of PR.
How we're different
We're not a PR agency and we're not a course.
We're like the IKEA of PR with a twist - you follow our quick simple process with everything included and build it yourself.
(Don't worry - you get access to an expert to guide you and check
everything before you start swearing).