Most people think of marketing and public relations as the same thing, or if not, very similar. But while there are some similarities, they serve two different purposes.
Muse.com explains the difference: Marketing is focused on promoting and selling a specific product, whereas PR is focused on maintaining a positive reputation for a company as a whole. Axia PR goes a bit further, noting that each discipline has different audiences. Marketers work to meet customers’ needs, while PR may address customers, employees, suppliers, investors and the media.
A few months ago, we showed you how to implement your own PR campaign. If that didn’t convince you to use public relations as a sales tool, here are five ways that PR can increase your sales:
- Credibility. Getting articles placed in reputable publications and blogs can go a long way toward gaining credibility in your industry. It’s also a way to get your brand out there – not just your logo, but your beliefs, core values and mission.Pitch stories to blogs and websites in your industry, or send a press release to them. Always follow up, though; media outlets get many press releases, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll see it.
- Visibility. The more placements you get in blogs and websites, the more people will see your business and remember it when they’re looking for your product or service.
But press releases aren’t the only way you can get visibility. Speaking at events, having a booth at trade shows, and sponsoring local organizations can all generate visibility. This is the true definition of public relations in action; your relationship with the public.
- Expertise. Publishing white papers, blog posts and case studies give you an opportunity to position yourself as an expert in your industry. This goes toward credibility and trust; people want proof that you are experienced and can solve the problems that they may have.
- Education. This goes toward expertise and credibility as well, but you may have to educate consumers, potential investors and the media why your business is important.It may be a new problem that you’re solving, or a problem that people don’t even know they have. Educating them is part of establishing that relationship with the public and letting them know why they should buy your product or service.
- SEO. Each mention of your company in a blog or website gives you a backlink, one of the most important contributors to a good Google ranking. Google sees backlinks as a sign that someone else finds your content interesting. Send out press releases to distribution companies; use social media to publicize your blog posts; and write guest posts for other blogs and websites.