Three ways that PR can Bring More Value Than Advertising Alone

By Michael Doute

How valuable is advertising? How many of us actually pay attention to advertisements? People who consume content have never had as many ways to avoid advertisements as they do today: ad blockers on the internet, streaming TV shows from services like Netflix, and recording TV shows to watch later have all contributed to this. Even if someone is watching live TV these days, don’t you think that they’d just pull out their phone during the commercial break? While this doesn’t look great for advertisers, it sets the stage nicely for PR. Here are three ways that PR can bring far more value to your organization than ads alone.

  • Don’t interrupt the content, be the content

I have never understood the advertising mindset. How did interrupting somebody’s TV show and trying to sell them something become the standard method of operation for every organization in the world? What makes far more sense to me is to become the content, rather than interrupting the content. For example, if you run a small company sells art, create content about art. The same time that you could spend buying, and placing ads could be used creating your own branded content. Whether it’s a podcast, video series on YouTube, or a blog, people will happily consume it if it gives them some value.

  • Storytell in a way that works for you

A big mistake that some people can make is that they assume that their brand should appear everywhere. If you have a big enough organization with the budget to hire enough talent to make that happen, it might work for you. But for the rest of us, you should storytell on a medium that you are talented on. Not a strong writer? Shoot some video or run a podcast. There are endless options out there, you just need to understand what your strengths are, and double down on them.

  • Don’t throw out advertising

I know that I questioned the value of advertising in the beginning, but I don’t want anyone to stop doing it entirely. The American Marketing Association defines IMC as “planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.” Good PR work helps an organization craft their story, create their story, and understand the publics that will ultimately consume that story. It should be up to advertising to help amplify that story.

Telling a good story and bringing actual value to a consumer is much more compelling than any advertisement. Often times, advertisements are the best way to amplify the message of your story, but I don’t think that any brand should rely on them alone to tell it. PR has a big opportunity over the next few years to become content advocates within organizations. What kind of branded content do you consume? Is it a podcast? A video series? Let me know!

Michael Doute is a senior majoring in public relations. He is currently the VP of Professional Development for the PRSSA organization at EMU. Mike’s passion is with storytelling, and he hopes to end up working for a company that allows him to be creative.
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