Trylon Communications  - December 2003

Add It Up

When a top advertiser like Miller begins incorporating PR into its strategic planning, you know itís time to take notice. Applying some new metrics suggesting that PR beats television for return on investment, the gurus at the brewing company are beginning to shift more of their budget towards PR. Media and technology companies should take note, as what affects a brewing giant can impact them as well.

In an industry that spends an average of 61 times the money on advertising as it does on PR, Miller was surprised to find that PR campaigns generated 1.2 percent of base product sales and 4 percent of incremental sales. Compared to 5.3 percent and 17.3 percent respectively for TV advertising, the company found that PR provided a much bigger bang for the buck.

After analyzing sales data for two and a half years, Miller determined that it could determine the effect of PR by assigning a value to positive impressions generated by PR campaigns. This allowed the company to take more of an apples-to-apples approach when comparing advertising and PR results.

This analytical approach to identifying and quantifying ROI for PR impacts across all industries. Companies looking to increase market share and gain new customers should note Millerís findings and take another look at their communication strategies.

Ranjit Choudhary, the strategic modeling specialist in Millerís marketing group, stated that while more research needs to be done, Millerís next step may be to shift some resources from television advertising to public relations efforts.

Marketers are moving toward more ROI models and away from traditional reach-and-frequency models when assigning value to ad and PR campaigns. With this in mind, consider your next marketing moves in terms of value received for money spent.