One of the main reasons why PR doesn’t sell (PR does sell if you know how to do it) is that you can do as much PR as you can, but you can delegate to PR the same rule of an engineered system of client acquisition that, of course, must be in place to sustain a consistent PR strategy.
It seems difficult to get a considerable increase both in growth and in number of clients without a structured way of lead generation and a specific funnel in place.
Thus, if there is a principle that you should follow, it is to never generate expectations that diverge from the main purpose of the channel.
Relying on a single distribution channel is often risky as it is not even said that the same distribution channel is itself the most efficient in reaching your target.
In their book Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares, the authors provide nineteen pillars on which you can base your own marketing strategy to figure out what channels above them are most cost-efficient in terms of value per lead.
What is traction?
According to Naval Ravikant, founder of AngelList,
Traction is basically quantitative evidence of customer demand. So if you’re in enterprise software, [initial traction] may be two or three early customers who are paying a bit; if you’re in consumer software the bar might be hundreds of thousands of users.
The channels that the authors suggest testing are the following:
Just having a look at the list, you might recognize two main points related to the discovery of an effective method in your client acquisition strategy:
It takes time to prepare a speech, a workshop, a presentation, a video, a blog article, a contribution, etc.
It’s not cheap when you consider testing online and offline ads, or building internet tools to drive traffic or increase the value perception of your customer experience, etc.
However, what we want to focus on here is how to use the media to increase the perception of “betterness” attached to your service or product.
Media coverage should be just one branch of your overall PR strategy.
Before reaching the media you should indeed
Most entrepreneurs underestimate the value of PR in their marketing strategy, although PR, which is essentially claiming your spot of attention above the general noise, is the only strategy you can use in today’s overcrowded marketplace to disqualify your competition even if they have a higher marketing budget than you do.
Indeed, attention is a limited commodity, and what you get is something that your competitors are generally missing.
PR is what gives you credibility—being endorsed by credible third-party sources.
Think about when you are spending a couple of weeks abroad in a totally unknown place and you decide to taste local food for a dinner out with your family.
You usually rely on either the suggestion of the locals or what people say in their reviews on Trip Advisor.
What makes PR different from advertising, for example, is that PR has what advertising lacks: CREDIBILITY.
The psychological basis of PR is the simple evidence that people are more likely to consider true what other people have to say about you (even if it is staged and false and especially if it is bad) than what you have to say about yourself.
Among the many forms of PR you can rely upon, there is the most powerful one that consists of you being invited for an interview in the broadcast media.
Indeed, what the media do when it comes to talking about a specific topic is merely invite the EXPERT.
But you might not be at the “expert level” yet, and you will need to figure out different ways to get yourself featured in the media to extend your reach and the value perception of your expertise.
At this stage you should start considering the media as any single other business.
They also use information as a front-end product that allows them to make money from a highly profitable back-end product: advertising.
Thus, if they want to get advertising investments, the media must increase their customer reach and the time their customers (those who consume information) spend on their channel.
To do so, the media must give the audience what they want:
As an entrepreneur you might not be that interested in getting media coverage related to gossip (usually Black PR), but you might make the news because of
Broadcast PR gives you credibility. You need credibility to gain market leadership. But you still need to do the work by implementing a systemic way to attract customers and scale your business to new reach.
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Founder and Managing Director at POWER BRAND. PR that Sells for Startups and SMEs,
How to turn your content into a PR advocate
Why you should write a book from a PR perspective
How to use PR to disqualify your competition
How to get media coverage by giving the media what they want
Brand Positioning. Broadcast PR. Brand domination.