PR vs. Advertising

Small Business owners who do not have a background in marketing often confuse PR (public Relations) and advertising.  Advertising refers to a very specific thing – buying space/time in a public medium such as print, radio, TV, or billboard.  Public relations refers to everything else we do to promote ourselves and our business.

Frankly, unless you’ve got a serious marketing budget, it hardly pays these days to advertise.  The point is to create name recognition and visibility.  And in order to do that with advertising, even in a small market, you have to spend serious cash over a long period of time.   The generally agreed upon statistic is 7-15 exposures to your name/brand to even begin to create name recognition through advertising.

So, as a small business owners – the key is niche marketing (not niche advertising) using a global approach to reach a very small targeted niche segment of the market.  By global I mean – all the avenues within your reach:

  • Live events
  • Media Exposure (print, radio, tv) through press releases, interviews, etc.
  • Social Networking (FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace, Linked-in, etc)
  • In person networking (going to where your niche is hanging out)
  • Internet Marketing (including blogging, pay-per-click, SEO, etc.) driving people to your website (where you have created a single action for them to take – that gives you their name and email)
  • Sponsoring, volunteering and community service

How do you do all of this while working a job, raising a family, having a life?  You absolutely must have a plan and time management/project management systems in place.  Because these things all need to happen with some consistency in order to create success.

And you need to include follow-up for the leads that these things create.  Because if you don’t follow-up, the energy that you initiate with these activities will very quickly dissipate.