PR Notes- Setting PR Expectations for 2012

The New Year is a great time to set or reset PR expectations with management and/or clients.  It continues to amaze me that there are still C-level marketing professionals who believe that PR can single-handily  increase sales or lead generation. I will never forget my first experience with this common misnomer.  It was in the early 2000’s that I was able to secure a positive product review for StreamZap( Start-Up;PC Remote) in Parade Magazine.  At the time, the magazine had a circulation of about 34 million.  The StreamZap owner was convinced the article would flood the sales pipeline and available product inventory.  It didn’t happen.  My additional years of experience have provided the answers.  In a nutshell, PR does not operate in a vacuum.  It’s most successful as a compliment to a sustained sales and marketing campaign.

Here are some guiding principles for setting expectations:

1- For any PR Campaign, always include an objective(s) that are directly related to the sales and marketing goals.  This does not include increased sales!  It does include increases in email newsletter open rates, online traffic to specific web pages including social media, placements in target media, thought leadership engagements etc.

2- PR is not Sales!- PR attempts to create “buzz” for customer “entry points.”  Our goal is to grab the attention of a target audience to compel them to take action; learn more; sign up for demo etc.  It is not our role to close sales.

3- PR collateral can help close sales- Too many companies spend budget and resources to obtain great story placements and third party support, then bury the information on their website where targets are unlikely to visit.  You can help salespeople close sales by working together to integrate PR nuggets into all sales and marketing collateral including product sheets and high profile pages on the website.

Happy New Year…Set expectations early to ensure that feeling all year long!