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Over the years I’ve been very anti PR. I’ve seen tens of thousands wasted on poorly thought out events. Even more in those pseudo research studies aimed to get some positive press coverage that may, or may not, rub off on their product.
Looking back I have seen some PR work well for our clients:
1. One PR guru had great press contacts in one particular area and got a half page in the Saturday edition of the FT. The article was a glowing testimonial for our clients product but despite all the contact details being shown the client got just 3 enquiries. However, the PR lady soon spotted a great opportunity to include all or part of the FT endorsement in all other media – direct mail, inserts and ads. That inclusion lifted response by 35% over and above what we were getting previously.
2. Another client had developed a health product that won a product of the year a few years back. Direct mail and inserts were OK but as there were few repeat sales he had no back end to speak of – he needed to make his money on the first sale. So he actually called on the health editor of every major newspaper and year after year he got a one or two page feature on his product in most of the papers he visited. After a while he stopped all direct mail and ads and just drafted staff in when he knew the write ups were due.
So PR can be made to work just be careful who you employ to do it for you.