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12 Fun & Fascinating PR Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

As an entrepreneur/marketer, you know how much public relations can help grow your business. You have probably partnered with an agency, researched its value adds and contemplated its ROI. And you’ve leveraged content marketing, press releases, and media relations. But did you know PR also has a rich, colorful history full of insightful stories that we can all learn from, even today? Without further ado, here are 12 fun and fascinating PR facts: 

Once Upon a Time…

1. It Started with Cave Art: PR goes back to the earliest days of civilization. From communicating through cave drawings to Egyptian pharaohs’ “sacred carvings” and Greek noblemen learning rhetoric from sophists, communications management is an age-old practice. (Source: The Museum of Public Relations)

2. First PR Book: Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack is one of the earliest known examples of content marketing. This annual publication sold thousands of copies each year, generating incredible demand for the printing and paper business that Franklin owned. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

3. First PR Agency: Modern PR dates to 1900, when the first public relations agency, “The Publicity Bureau,” was founded by former Boston journalists. The agency operated for “some 12 years before it disappeared into the sands of oblivion.” However, PR continued to grow throughout the early 1900s thanks to popular pioneers such as Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays (we’ll get back to them later). (Source: Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly)

4. Building Trust During the Great Depression: The Great Depression touched every aspect of American life – including the communications business. Due to the economic downturn, companies primarily sought to build trust rather than sell products. The result? Most turned to PR over marketing, with PR even getting top billing on organizational charts! Advertising spending, meanwhile, plunged by more than 60 percent between 1929-1933 and would not fully recover until after World War II. (Source: MuckRack; Encyclopedia.com)

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5 Ways Inbound Marketing Stands Apart from Traditional Marketing

Once upon a time, marketers focused on buying advertisements, mailing postcards, and making telemarketing calls. But people's behaviors have changed, and the traditional marketing playbook must change with them. While cold calls once netted enormous volumes of leads, today more than 235 million Americans are registered on the FTC's "Do Not Call" list. And that glossy flier you sent to your loyal customers? It won't even reach half of them, as 58% of direct mail recipients never read, or even scan, their mailers.  

What’s a marketer or entrepreneur to do?  

Some of this may seem bleak, but there’s good news – and it’s called inbound marketing. This holistic, data-motivated approach cuts costs, builds higher trust and credibility, and generates quality traffic and leads. Sounds too good to be true?  

Here are 5 ways inbound marketing stands apart from traditional marketing:

1. Quality Over Quantity

With the average person seeing 6,000-10,000 advertisement messages each day, it’s no wonder we’re starting to tune them out. So how can marketers get our attention? It begins with crafting quality content. As HubSpot writes, inbound marketing attracts customers by “creating valuable content and experiences… they are looking for and solving problems they already have.” While traditional marketing is all about what you want to say, inbound marketing focuses on what your customers want to hear. Consider your last major purchase, such as a new car. Did you choose the car with the best commercial? Or, like 88% of Americans, did you research specific questions before deciding? If you answered “research,” inbound marketing materials likely helped you make your choice. 

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6 Ways to “Spring Clean” Your PR and Marketing

Spring is in the air, bringing warmer weather, blooming flowers, and the annual itch to deep clean your home. Just as you'd clean out your closet, you can clean out your PR and marketing strategy. In the end, you’ll have a more agile communications focus and a clear vision to propel your company forward. Here are six ways you can brighten up your marketing and PR efforts this spring:

1. Wipe Away the Dust — on Your PR Plan

We’re all guilty of setting goals, building a strategy to get there… and then barely looking at it again. We get so swept up by the journey that we forget where we’re going! So, wipe away the figurative dust on your marketing and PR plan and take a fresh look at your goals. Where are you now, and where do you want to be? How much progress have you made since January? Although seemingly simple, this check-in is a critical first step to help your communications program shine.

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7 Strategic Value Adds of PR Agencies

Are you a company or an entrepreneur who's just not at all sure if a PR/Marketing agency can truly help your business? Not sure if it's really worth your time or investment?

Last month, SKC outlined why engaging with a PR firm is smart business. This month, we're diving deeper and exploring how public relations and marketing specialists add strategic value to any endeavor. From counseling management to uncovering your core story to generating investor interest, here are 7 ways we can strengthen your business:

1. Insider Expertise, Outsider Perspective

A common perception is that PR and marketing teams simply write press releases and social media posts. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although it's a given your agency partner must excel in writing, one of the biggest value adds is providing a fresh perspective on your business. Agencies can analyze various facets of your company -- from what makes you unique, to your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities for growth. But perhaps most importantly, agencies can then act on these analyses with strategy and execution that deliver success. Everything we do -- yes, including press releases and social media posts -- stems from this strategic business analysis.

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5 Reasons Why The Competition May Be Getting More Ink Than You

Sometimes it is nothing short of mystifying when a competitor with lesser products, numbers, and brand recognition generates more ink than you. Just as the art of Chinese calligraphy is built upon layers of subtleties, spanning thousands of years of knowledge and imbued with the spirit of the masters, so are the complexities of telling your company's story.

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5 Messages Every Company Needs

Still searching for "the one"? For that perfect message, that is. Every company desires messaging that clicks with their customers and resonates loudly in the minds of prospective buyers and media. But creating the right perceptions isn't about having a single message. It’s about matching the correct messages, to the right types of audiences, at the right time.The secret to fantastic messaging is found in developing 5 key messages:

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Four Commandments of Media Relations

Today's headlines across the world are filled with examples of bad media relations practices. From lying to spying, American companies and politicians at the highest levels are behaving appallingly and unprofessionally toward the media. A good media relationship is a blessing and a joy for any company, but it isn’t always easy to walk the straight and narrow.

When companies plan their media outreach initiatives, we should keep in mind these four commandments of media relations:

 

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5 Ways to Control Your Message in this Brave New World

The internet has forever changed the way news is distributed. From blogs to podcasts to social media and 24-hour online news, your customers are consuming information in a whole new way. Regardless of your company’s brand, service or product, the changing media landscape means more opportunities to get your company in the public eye. But are your messages registering with audiences in ways you intended?

 

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