Should PR Replace Advertising If You’re On a Tight Budget?

The answer to that common small business question is a resounding N-O! In my humble opinion, one communications strategy should not be expected to pick up the slack for the rest of your outreach because of lack of money. The bottom line is that it’s easier to get the media interested in you if there is already at least a little awareness out there about your product or service. I recently consulted with a start-up consumer company that manfactures high-end kitchen accessories. They spent the first year of their business creating a media buying strategy in national consumer (some vertical) publications. Yes, it was very expensive. But in the end, they experienced a steady increase in sales over time. After several ad rotations in a variety of magazines, they were ready to turn to PR and say “bring it on home.” The good news for their publicist was that awareness had already been built with some of the magazines he was tasked to pitch story ideas to. But let’s be clear. Editorial and marketing departments are very much separated in the world of magazines and newspapers. I don’t believe you have more of a chance to get a “hit” if you advertise with a certain publication. However, if you’re company is rapidly growing and customer response is high due to effective media buying, you’re establishing important benchmarks that you can use to help pitch to publications with large circulations. Another advantage to advertising with major publications (if you can get over the sticker shock) is that you’re putting your product directly into the hands of decision-makers that do have some access to editorial. So don’t be surprised if your cool item does find its way to a writer or contributing editor who also a celebrity. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. The basic idea is that PR is an extremely effective tool which can work beautifully in conjunction with a fleshed-out marketing and advertising program.



Filed under integrated communications, marketing, marketing communications, media, media relations, PR for Non-Profits, PR for Small Biz, PR Resources, Public Relations, publicity

2 responses to “Should PR Replace Advertising If You’re On a Tight Budget?

  1. Jennifer!

    Absolutely right on! I would also venture to say that any social media outreach or initiatives one does should not replace traditional outreach initiatives. They all work arm in arm or “net in net”.


  2. great post & Great work
    love your work on the B Boys…. very creative site

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