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Public Relations: Marketing Mix

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Most experts suggest you use both public relations and advertising in your marketing mix, but far too many executives neglect the former or lack even a basic awareness about the difference between the two.

Moreover, the explosion of online promotion, social media and relatively new formats such as blogs have boosted public relations far above advertising.

Advertising refers to paid promotion while public relations refers to unpaid promotion. Public relations is estimated to be up to ten times more effective per column inch — think about the following contrast: what does your eye turn to when reading a newspaper, a large display ad or a small interesting article on the same page.

Public relations is effective because there is a neutral “gatekeeper,” the editors and reporters who decide whether your article is newsworthy.

Moreover, the explosion of online promotion, social media and relatively new formats such as blogs have boosted public relations far above advertising. Advertising online is generally regarded as spam and quickly deleted. However, unpaid promotion online includes many different vehicles such as e-newsletters, blogs, online publications, etc. These formats are free — unlike banner ads, Adwords, etc. — and so they properly fit into the category of online PR.

The public relations industry is still adjusting to this rapid broadening of its horizons. The field of “push” PR, sending out press releases, brochures, etc., is slowly giving way to “pull” PR or inbound marketing. Strategies such as search engine optimization let interested parties find you instead of the other way around.

A Structured Online Public Relations Program

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A structured online public relations program adds one element at a time to a company’s publicity efforts and works well when the organization has just launched a new website.

The concept of e- newsletters is just to appear in the recipients’ email box to remind them you’re still in business and available.

The first element of the program involves a weekly blog entry. Short pieces work the best, 200-to-300 words, and they work well in getting the client committed to the effort. Moreover, blogs hosted on a company’s website provide one of the most effective methods possible to increase the site’s authority and improve the results on the SERPs (search engine results pages).

The next element, a monthly press release directly helps clients to increase their visibility, especially after distribution on PRWeb or PR Newswire. Topics can range from new hires to a new website launch or perhaps just the company’s focus moving forward.

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