When you are investing in real estate the mantra is, “location, location, location.” When it comes to an investment in marketing―and marketing is an investment―timing can make all the difference. Whether you are introducing a new product, opening the doors to a new business or simply wanting to promote existing products and services, a successful public relations and marketing campaign requires planning and coordination.
What many don’t realize is, to secure publicity for a company event or promotion it must first be considered newsworthy (and while it may seem newsworthy to a business owner, the media may not see it that way). Secondly, you must allow enough lead time to alert the media prior to their deadlines. Even daily and weekly publications and news shows plan stories and news segments weeks in advance; and editors of monthly publications are working on issues as much as three to six months before going to print. Allowing enough time in advance helps increase the possibility of traditional press coverage.
Landing press can provide a great boost to your business; and at the very least a boost to your credibility (and SEO). But to maximize public relations efforts, the additional benefits come in the follow-up with the marketing effort. If you are promoting an expansion of services, make sure your website is updated with the new information, have an email ready to send off to your database of customers and posts on your Facebook and Twitter pages.
You need to develop an integrated marketing campaign where public relations works hand-in-hand with advertising and promotional activities to convey the message of your company and/or product. Public relations can bring your story to life, build credibility and help increase visibility; while advertising helps build brand awareness and sells specifics, promotional efforts grab attention and generate buzz.
Under the direction and inspiration of Steve Jobs, Apple demonstrated some of the best practices in brand marketing and public relations. Jobs understood the art of a coordinated campaign and the results it could achieve.
A new product introduction from Apple is often unveiled on-stage in a theater of sorts packed with journalists, industry bloggers and technology insiders. The company typically avoids industry trade shows, opting to create their own events in the weeks prior. A product launch and publicity campaign is accompanied by traditional print, broadcast and outdoor ads, along with in-store displays and signage.
Apple’s website is poised for announcements with supportive pages and videos providing a firsthand look at their latest and greatest. Of course, emails are sent to a finely-tuned database prior to launch day, encouraging customers to get online to buy. An outreach of direct and indirect advertising orchestrated with public relations not only creates awareness and buzz, it creates demand. Apple’s seamless multi-channel, multi-touch approach demonstrates one of the best and most integrated examples for a successful marketing formula.
While most marketing budgets are significantly more limited than Apple’s, advance planning and coordination on any budget can still make or break the impact.