5 Paid Public Relations Tactics That Will Kick Start a Winning Program

–    Julie Martin, Vice President, Public Relations

“Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.” We say, not anymore. This old, witty phrase is no longer relevant as the clear distinction between advertising and public relations is fading. Public Relations has become more controlled and measurable with the newest twist of paid publicity.

In the days before paid PR tactics, public relations was one of the only disciplines where you couldn’t guarantee results.  Yes, the golden goose of PR is to garner the attention of objective third parties – hopefully high-profile journalists to cover your brand.  But now, volume of followers and fans and yes, even some of those reporters, are influenced by trending Twitter topics and celebrity spokespeople.

Unlike traditional PR, paid Public Relations gives you control of how your brand is portrayed in the press, which media they will be featured in, and even how often.  Paid media can enhance any earned media you may garner with key messaging that you are able to create yourself, rather than leave in the hands of a third party.

While there are definite perks to paid media, it also creates an opportunity for more savvy viewers to question your brand’s credibility.  Are you being covered because you have a good story or because you paid up?

So, how do you evaluate all of these new opportunities to get your brand into the rapid flow of trending conversation?  Here are 5 ways to kick start your public relations campaign with a bit more certainty.

  1. Satellite Media Tour (SMT)- A technique used by brands to provide an expert of their choosing to local television news broadcasts for often-live interaction, with the goal of getting out a specific message through guaranteed television coverage.
  1. Multimedia News Release (MNR)- A press release directed at members of the media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy, that includes a multimedia component such as a photograph or video.
  1. Blogger Outreach Campaign- In seeking exposure for a product or service, a brand leverages influencers who have established a substantial following, hiring them to write blog posts and/or social media posts that features their brand.
  1. Event Activation- The seamless integration of a brand identity throughout a live event, in order to bring the brand to life and increase brand awareness.
  1. Celebrity Seeding- Placing a brand into celebrity work in order to garner media attention, including television shows, radio announcements, billboards and gift bags.

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