Using Publicity to Get What You Really Want

By Jeff Cheatham, Senior Account Manager at TrizCom PR

Successful companies simply can’t compete in today’s business world without a strategic corporate communications plan. Perhaps it’s traditional advertising. Or maybe a large-scale marketing platform complete with experiential programming. It may even include a heavy rotation of digital acumen in the world of website conversion points coupled with a social media blitz.

But how do consumer and business-to-business audiences react to the trustworthiness of these aforementioned initiatives? Fortunately, we have some fresh statistics to share from the global data company Statista Research & Analysis, Inc.

When it comes to consumer trust (and moreover, belief), public relations and media outreach efforts ranked fifth out of 19 polled categories ranging from word-of-mouth to Internet banner ads. Sixty-three percent of respondents reported that hearing about a product or service as a result of public relations and media outreach earned their trust. The highest level was word-of-mouth at 82 percent. The lowest level of trustworthiness was reserved for text ads on mobile phones—rated at just 37 percent.

At TrizCom, we once had a client explain to us exactly what he needed in terms of value from our partnership. “I need articles in reputable publications that mention our company…something that our sales team can then take with them into new business meetings and show that we’re a respected voice in this industry vertical.” This is the perfect example of using publicity to get what you really want. Whether it’s business-to-consumer or business-to-business, incremental sales and increased profit margins are almost always the final justification for entering into a PR partnership.

This justification directly effects how we work on behalf of our clients. You really have to put yourself in your client’s proverbial shoes to see whether or not your public relations efforts are truly serving to benefit them. We’ve done some excellent work on behalf of convenient health care and freestanding ER clients, but often had to forego higher visibility opportunities simply because we realized these storylines weren’t going to add up to an additional patient walking through their doors. But by focusing on hyperlocal media strategies, we could reach the soccer moms out there who make health care decisions in the middle of the night when their kids get sick. It all comes back to incremental business.

If your business is looking into whether or not a public relations campaign is the right fit for your organization’s goals, ask yourself if publicity can get you what you really want. We’re betting it can.