Public relations (PR) is often thought of as a form of marketing without a measurable return on investment (ROI), but nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s important to seek direct value for the time and money spent promoting your business. You want to know that if you spend A in resources, you’ll get B in return.
Many business owners fall into the trap of thinking that since PR is all about influencing opinions, it will take time to measure any shifts in behaviour, and even longer for the benefits to affect the bottom line.
However, numerous studies have shown a direct correlation between an investment in PR and a monetary return on that investment.
No form of marketing promises a guaranteed return every time it’s used, but PR has one of the highest ROIs, and often generates greater returns than advertising.
For example, a study published by the Institute For Public Relations cites the case study of a beverage brand that measured the impact of PR versus other forms of marketing. The data showed that every dollar spent on TV advertising delivered $1.10 in sales. Trade advertising delivered a return of roughly $2.20 for every dollar spent. But PR delivered an incredible $8.00 for every $1.00 invested – the best results of any form of marketing tested. In fact, 4% of all incremental sales were attributed to PR. That may not sound like much, but in this case it represented tens of millions of dollars.
Findings like these are typical, and I hope they encourage you to look at PR more closely when you’re next evaluating your marketing mix.
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Factor in to your decision making that public relations is the only form of marketing to positively affect all other forms of marketing.
When news coverage about a brand is positive and prominent, every other form of marketing has been shown to be more effective, thus creating a beneficial ripple effect across all marketing efforts.
It’s wonderful that PR has the best return on the dollar in terms of sales, but it’s also worth looking beyond the monetary ROI to the other benefits it can bring your business, such as the opportunity to tell your story, achieve unparalleled credibility and gain the involvement and loyalty of customers. You may even find that your high profile reputation enhances your ability to charge premium prices, regardless of the economy.
Have you been tapping into the power of PR? What kind of return did you receive for your investment?