Trylon Communications  - Volume I Issue 9
       

Investing vs. Spending

It is amazing how many sensible executives have no problem spending money on advertising, yet don't have the foresight to invest capital into their public relations programs. When does spending money on PR become an investment? When it works! That is why we operate on a results-based flat monthly retainer basis.

There's little wonder that executives are apprehensive about investing money in public relations campaigns that are billed by the hour - horror stories abound of marketing execs lulled into spending tons of money in this manner. Under the billable hours model, the PR firm is compensated for the amount of time it wastes. Hours burn up, a couple of junior account executives send PowerPoints back and forth, and companies see checks going out for months with no tangible deliverables.

It's a shame that these things happen. However, the more frequent but less publicized relationships between PR firms and clients are cooperative and productive. In fact, return on PR investment generally beats advertising ROI hands down.

Focusing on the basics is the key to a productive public relations investment. Outline the goals and objectives of an upcoming campaign. Create a budget with the end result in mind. Develop creative strategies and tactics designed around those existing parameters. Follow through with focused execution. Analyze the results.

Adjust your next campaign based upon results obtained from the previous one and begin compiling a library of successful strategies. It pays to retain an outside firm that will offer expertise in your industry, relationships with influential journalists, and creative approaches to attaining media coverage. Carefully screening prospective firms and working on a simple flat retainer basis should yield a significant return both in terms of publicity obtained and monetary ROI.