— Lakesha Cole
1. What services does she PR provide?
Traditional Public Relations
Strategic Communication Counsel
Media Writing & Distribution
Social Media Management
2. How far in advance should I retain PR services?
It depends on the project; however, she PR requires a minimum of six months before launch.
3. What's the relationship between PR and the media?
Public relations develops the story. Media relations broadcast it.
PR professionals and the media play gatekeeper roles. As PR professionals, we can allow or deny a reporter access to our client, and an editor can allow or deny us a story. The key is to control that access without tainting the process. For example, if there is a rumor about you, our client, and a reporter calls to interview you, we can legitimately say that you need more time to research facts but promise to get back before the deadline. Conversely, a competent reporter won't take an important story at face value without verifying it. Respecting these roles is vital in ongoing relationships between the two camps.
4. How Does One Measure the Effectiveness of a PR Campaign?
PR can be measured and tracked, but standards vary. Before we begin a campaign, there has to be an agreed-upon goal between the client and she PR. This is one of the most important factors, as it is the goal that ultimately determines the campaign's delineated strategy and its outcome. Any approved industry-standard ways to measure goals and objectives will be decided upon with the client.
While there are tons of metrics that you could evaluate, here are some of our favorite to track on all of our campaigns:
* New Leads: in the business world, leads are any potential customers interested in your brand/product.
Share of Voice: This metric measures how the media is talking about you compared to your competitors.
* Campaign/Ad Reach: This metric explains how many people saw your campaign or advertisement.
* Relationship Quality: Did your campaign garner positive relationships between media, brands, investors, or customers?
* Social Traffic/Growth: Take a look at how many people started following or engaging with your brand on social media.
* Coverage Sentiment: How are people talking about your brand? Evaluate not just how much media coverage you're getting but also what that coverage is saying about you.
5. What's the difference between PR and Advertising?
Many companies pay for both services to help push their brand forward.
Advertising is paid; public relations is free or earned (minus the cost of experts). Advertising is the only guaranteed media. When you run an ad for your company, you pay for the space; when you distribute a press release, that prompts a newspaper to write an article about your company.
Four other critical differences between PR and advertising are:
* Control - When you advertise, you have total control over the content, format, timing, and size of your message. With PR, you have no control over any of these variables. You can write whatever you want in your press release, but you can't dictate how it is printed or used, nor can you review or approve any changes made.
* Repetition - Advertising is repeatable; PR is not. With PR, a media source will likely only run a given press release only once. You have to provide a new story or at least a different angle on the old topic to get covered again.
* Credibility - Consumers are skeptical of advertisements. Meanwhile, a media endorsement can go a long way.
* Attractiveness - Publicity must have an angle that engages an editor's attention for it to have a chance of being noticed, read, or used. An ad has to appeal to only one audience: your sales prospects.
6. What's the difference between PR and marketing?
The short answer...
The primary difference between the two is that marketing is focused on promoting a specific product, service, or idea; and increasing sales, while public relations is focused on maintaining a positive reputation for the company overall.
The long answer...
While both activities work to improve the standing of the company, the strategies, focus, and measurements of success are very different. Here's a breakdown:
* Target Audience
Marketing: Current or potential consumers
PR: All stakeholders, media, and the public at large
* Primary Focus
Marketing: Conducting advertising and other marketing initiatives that will result in increased sales.
PR: Managing messaging and communication channels to maintain positive brand awareness and build relationships.
Marketing: The power to sell. Advertising and other forms of direct marketing are the shortest routes to increased sales.
PR: The power to change minds. Messages can be more influential when received through PR channels, as articles and other third-party sources are perceived as more credible than ads.
* Measuring Success
Marketing: Success is generally measured by increases in sales revenue and realizing short-term results.
PR: Gaining positive media exposure and influencing a positive change in perception. Generally focused on more long-term results.
* Daily Activities
If you’re still struggling to separate PR and marketing, think about the activities a professional might conduct over the course of a day.
7. Does PR equal sales?
PR typically isn't measured in sales but PR does lead to sales long-term. The more time an article spends on the search pages, the more it becomes part of the marketing funnel for customers looking for similarly grouped products or services. A press placement increases exposure, keeping the brand top of mind for customers, for overall increased brand recognition. While PR efforts coupled with effective email marketing, social media, and paid ad campaigns can increase sales ten-fold, PR alone maximizes the marketing budget, not sales efforts.
8. So, you've pitched several outlets. Why isn't the media interested in my story?
Because your story isn't deemed newsworthy at this time.
9. Do you guarantee media placement?
Never. That's why it's called earned media. Think of PR as a creative form of lawyering. In the same way, a lawyer can't guarantee a win; PR professionals can't guarantee coverage. The only way to guarantee coverage is to pay for it. If you want guaranteed coverage, we recommend you buy an ad.
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