Member Article

Squeaky enough to be heard?

For all of those cynics out there who think public relations is all glitz, glamour, press evenings, bulls**t, spin, expensive and not worth the investment, I want to cut through the spin and prove its credentials.

Proof of this bold statement can be found in today’s (May 21 2013) news: ‘Visitors to the North East fall after tourism publicity dries up.’ http://tinyurl.com/mef6x6y Now the cynics out there may say this can’t be pinned entirely on a lack of PR, but could in fact be down to the British weather – 2012 was the wettest summer in 100 years http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19427139

Whilst there may be an element of truth in the weather washout reducing visits to the North East’s attractions, conversely the UK economy has forced more families to explore ‘staycations’ - more commonly known to you and I as ‘holidaying at home.’ Last year saw a surge in such mini breaks with four in ten people enjoying ‘staycations’ http://www.retail-week.com/comment/2012-could-be-the-year-of-the-staycation/5036135.article

So, if more of us are opting to holiday ‘around the doors’ than jet off to a place in the sun, there must be credence in today’s headline? Put simply, if you don’t ‘shout about it’ who is going to know about it? The analogy I tend to use for new clients is ‘The wheel which squeals the loudest gets the grease.’

I feel that succinctly explains PR in a nutshell. If you don’t tell people who you are, what you do, how you do it, why you are better than your competitors and your successes, no-one will know about you to buy your product or use your service. Linking back to today’s news story it could be argued that the abolishment of One NorthEast and the loss of the ‘Passionate People, Passionate Places’ campaign has resulted in those not already familiar with the North East’s attractions not finding out about them.

So where do PR consultancies come into all this? Well I can assure you after more than 10 years in the business we don’t swoop in with our fancy suits and high heels to smile politely at an expensive launch event (this is not what Sex & the City or The Apprentice would have you believe). Our goal is to promote a business to the RIGHT audience, at the RIGHT time with the RIGHT message, using the RIGHT communication tools – whether it be press coverage in regional, national, international, global or trade printed press, online communities & publications, social media, events, launches, press conferences or (if necessary) crisis management to protect and manage reputation.

Many potential clients are fearful of cost or how to measure results with PR. Often opting for a paid for advertisement, direct mail or banner. But let me ask you this: how many of the flyers you get through your door go in the bin and what was the last advert you read in the newspaper? Whilst these forms of advertising/marketing have their place and complement a PR plan, it is worth noting that PR is often more cost effective, credible (as it is not paid for space – it achieves coverage in the press because of its news value) and is creative – from Deal Or No Deal exhibitions for clients to creative photo stories, facebook campaigns and staff celebration days. http://www.persuasionpr.com/services

How loudly is your wheel squeaking? Not loudly enough………

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Paul Dobbie .

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