There’s an old saying: “Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”
In today’s post, we’re exploring what PR is not.
And straight off the bat, dear readers, PR is *not* advertising.
PR is defined as ‘earned media’, which is arguably the most trusted and credible form of content for a brand. In other words, earned media is ‘king’.
You can pay for all the advertising your budget will allow, but when it comes to influencing buyer behaviour, a well-placed article in a magazine, newspaper or popular blog is where the high conversions really happen.
We can all learn a lot from 1999’s cult-classic teen film, American Pie. Yes, that’s right: things even more business-relevant than late 90s fashion, not playing with your food and always, always locking the door when you’re… ah-hem… you know what we mean.
Mid-way through the film there’s a scene in which mochaccino-drinking sophisticate, Paul Finch asks his pal, Kevin to agree with anything he hears about him. Puzzled, Kevin agrees. Quickly, Kevin’s promise is tested when a fellow high school student – delightfully credited by IMDb as ‘Random Cute Girl‘! – runs over seeking confirmation on whether his friend Finch is… equipped. (You know; ‘trouser-wise‘.)
Bewildered and yet remembering his earlier promise, Kevin confirms the rumour and the girl returns to her waiting friends in a flutter of giggling teenage excitement.
Let’s just say I’m considering taking part in next year’s Tour de France. Now at the time of writing this, I’ve got nine months to get ready. Only slight glitch is that I haven’t ridden a bike since I was 12. And even then, it was a candy pink townie with rainbow streamers on the handlebars. Great times.
So, I have a goal, I have a deadline and I have to be very strict with my training to make sure I’m where I want to be, when I need to be there.
It’s time to decide: do I train at the regular gym down the road, or do I go to the specialist cyclist training centre that’s a little bit further away, a little bit unfamiliar to me, but that specialises in exactly the sort of outcomes I’m aiming too achieve?
A young Jamie Oliver was working as a sous chef chef at River Café while the BBC were filming a feature. At the time, the director was looking for the next ‘big thing’ in the TV chef world – Oliver made an unscripted appearance, lit up the cameras… and voilà – he got his first big break!
Fast forward to today, Oliver has sold over 37 MILLION books in 36 different languages. His app has over 12M downloads, he has 37 television titles broadcast globally, 10M unique monthly visitors to his website, the #4 Food Channel on YouTube and the fastest growing drinks channel in the world.
And he’s worth a cool £240 million.
But these days not only is the term widely understood, it’s widely coveted and product brands would give their last roll of packing tape for their range to go viral.
From Kate Middleton to the Kardashians and every opportunity in between, landing widespread PR coverage can change the turnover and the trajectory of your business.