Posted by Media Relations on Friday, March 6th, 2009 - 2 Comments »
While marketing budgets are being cut or shifted, many companies are holding on to public relations — especially B2B companies. A recent story in BtoB Magazine, “Marketers stay in the conversation with PR,” tells the story of a company that relies on case studies as part of their public relations efforts. Since many of their customers conduct research as part of the sales process, the case studies promoted via public relations efforts are an instrumental part of their ability to attract new customers.
Public relations is more than press releases and media relations efforts to pitch journalists stories about companies. Public relations also involves building thought leadership, social media engagement, content development, internal company communications and many more aspects of corporate communications that affect marketing.
Due to the shift of advertising and publications online, newsrooms have been dealing with limited resources due to job loss and budget cuts for several years. The recession has not improved that situation and creates even more pressure for journalists to produce more content with fewer resources. Public relations and media relations efforts help meet that need for content by delivering story ideas, research, subject matter experts and resources.
Digital public relations savvy agencies are making both traditional media relations, digital media relations and optimized news content work together as part of a Push Pull PR strategy. Public relations agencies work to partner with journalists to provide content via push delivery, but can also optimize (SEO) news content to make it easy for story researchers to find companies the public relations firms represent.
The trend in hard times is for companies to cut all marketing costs that are not tied to direct sales. Yet, some companies are shifting budgets to smart, creative online marketing and public relations efforts. When no one else is marketing, there’s even more opportunity to stand out to prospective buyers.
As companies decide where to invest their limited marketing resources, there is a distinct opportunity to focus on investing in relationships with their customers, prospects, employees and business partners.
Companies that have been engaged in social Web participation long before the economy went into recession may already have an asset that new social media participants desire — better relationships with their customers. Digital public relations and social media efforts can facilitate the effectiveness of building those relationships — even for companies that are just now starting. The challenge is figuring out how to best use the resources available and what internal expertise or outside help will make best use of them.