It’s the season for resolutions, and one of the most common resolutions is to save money. In public relations and marketing, we can turn that resolution into a habit of maximizing investments. Off the cuff, PR is 10X less expensive than advertising — and about a 100X more influential. Even so, every company wants to stretch its PR dollars. Here are my tips on how to get the most out of your public relations budget.
New Year-New Habit No. 10: Maximize PR Budgets
Compare Wire Services
Talk with your PR agency or local wire service representative about the best distribution circuit for your news release. Some releases require the shotgun blast of national distribution, while others need the rifle shot of a specialty circuit. Plus, local circuits can reduce costs while providing exposure to local media and financial outlets.
Ditch the Printed Press Kit
Really? Are you still printing it? A printed press kit may feel good in your hands but it will end up in the trash if you send it to a reporter. Invest instead in developing a searchable and easy-to-access online press kit.
Free Speech Pays
Every PR program should include a speakers bureau and contributed article program. Take advantage of opportunities to speak (for free) at trade shows, conventions, industry associations, professional associations and community-service groups.
Write It Down
Dovetail your public speaking effort by writing articles that summarize your talks. Then submit these articles for publication in industry journals and trade outlets. And create a blog series out of your most enduring talk tracks.
Size Up Trade Show Opportunities
Limit the number of trade shows where you exhibit. In many instances, reserving a hospitality suite can be just as effective. Use the time to schedule and meet with industry analysts and editors one-on-one.
Cultivate Expert Status
One of the surest ways to generate press is to cultivate thought leadership through the development of an expert platform. In addition to speaking and writing, introduce key company executives to the media as expert sources. You also can rely on listing services such as PR Newswire’s ProfNet. And be sure to sign up to receive free, daily updates from Help a Reporter Out (HARO). You’ll be connected to reporters searching for qualified sources.
Spread the Good News
Make sure your employees, board of directors, investors, channel and technology partners, and customers know about your media successes. When you earn coverage or issue news releases, send out a simple e-mail notification with a link to your news or develop a formal company e-newsletter to communicate your progress.
What other tips do you have to cut your PR budget? While your commenting below, also let me know what other PR and social media habits you’d like to develop this year.