Almost every entrepreneur I meet says that they need media coverage to grow their business. When I ask them why, very few have an answer.
The PR industry sells “awareness” as a solution to almost every business ailment – but it’s simply not true. Media coverage can be a very inefficient, expensive and indirect way to talk to the people that matter most to your business. You’re putting the opportunity to build your businesses most important relationships in the hands of a third party, that has to convince another third party to publish something. You then hope that the people you want to read about your product or service actually see it when the coverage appears.
With traditional media-based publicity – because that’s what it is, not PR – you’re effectively buying a lottery ticket. Let me explain. If we apply the 5% direct marketing rule to publicity look what happens:
The website has 300,000 uniques every month.
5% will see the piece [15,000].
5% of the 15,000 will read it 
5% of the 600 will be have a possible need for your product or service 
5% of the 30 will have a need right now [1.5]
5% of the 1.5 will… well you get the idea!
With traditional media you had weekly, monthly or, in some cases, quarterly publications – where the magazine sat on their desks for a week, a month or three. Compare that with a refresh rate of one story an hour – or, in the case of the likes of Mashable and other online tech publications, once every 15 minutes. So, not only are you hoping to attract the attention of one and a half prospects with every piece of coverage, the chances they will read your piece is one in forty every week compared to the days of traditional media. The number rises to 1/160 over a month!
So, you’re paying five to ten thousand dollars a month for ‘PR’. Let’s say you’re getting 10 pieces of coverage a month. You’re getting your message in front of 15 prospective customers per month [most B2B businesses would bite your arm off for 15 new qualified leads every month]. Lets say, for the sake of argument, 33% of these make contact with you – that’s 5 leads. Each one has cost you $1,000 if you’re paying $5,000 a month. In PR terms, that’s pretty good ROI. If 20% convert to a customer, you have one new customer for your investment.
But then there’s always the chance that you get nothing from it. Think what you could do if you identified 5 – 10 prospects and spent even $500 on each to capture their attention. $500 a month to start building a relationship with them that increases the chances of them converting to a customer. What if you could spend $500 and figure out how to make sure you delivered the right message to each of these validated customers, at the right time and delivered via the right channel?
In reality, you could spend a lot less and get significantly better results. So, do you still want to play the publicity lottery?
Want to receive a daily PR Espresso in your inbox before 9am every day? Sign up