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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 Reasons to Partner with a PR Agency in 2021

What a difference a year makes! With 2020 in the rearview mirror, is it wise to predict what the next year holds? Our team thinks it’s worth a shot.

While "change” might still be the name of the game, 2021 already looks full of possibilities. As COVID-19 vaccines roll out around the world, the economy bounces back, and there’s a bit more hope in the air, it’s time to recalibrate and adapt your company’s goals and grand plans. We might be a little biased, but we truly believe that now, perhaps more than ever, is the time to partner with a communications agency to be successful in a brave new world.

You might be asking, “but why should I partner with an agency?”

Ahh, we're glad you asked. This is the question that most C-suite executives have to ponder at some point in time. Before we dive into how an agency partner can help with the latest and greatest in the coming year, here are 7 reasons why engaging with a PR firm is smart business in general.

1. Reap the Benefits of Experience

When partnering with a PR agency, you’re working with an entire team of experts who know about, and anticipate, all the twists and turns in the road, and the best ways to navigate them. Leaning on the experience of an agency elevates your business by supplying the know-how you need to handle any PR opportunity that comes your way. In many cases, it’s also incredibly valuable to get another—more specifically, outside—perspective on your brand and business

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Overwhelmed No More – PR & Marketing in 2 Steps

It’s 3 in the morning. You’re wide awake and your mind is besieged. Your competitor just sent out a new funding press release. How do you match that? Why is it so hard to reach the right investors? The right customers? Your team throws ideas at you. Dazzle with 3D presentations. We better be everywhere – on TV, on TechCrunch, on Facebook, LinkedIn, at tradeshows, everywhere! And don’t forget blogs, white papers, case studies, and email campaigns! And on and on and on.

It’s now 4am and sleep eludes you. You’re overwhelmed. Why are PR and marketing such enigmas? You know you need it to truly grow and attract investors and customers. But how? Where do you start? To think you once thought asking Rita to the prom was the toughest thing you ever did.

Sure, PR and marketing may feel daunting. But we’re here to say it doesn’t have to be. Take a deep breath, let go of everything you think you have to do. Instead, focus on just two steps that will make all the difference: First, build your foundation, and second, build your house.

This is what we mean:

1. Build Your Foundation, aka Build Your Story

A solid foundation ensures your company stands strong while forces around you wreak havoc. The secret to PR/marketing success boils down to this: know thyself. Who are you? Who should care? What can you offer?

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6 Reasons to Partner with a PR Agency in 2019

The beginning of the new year brims with possibilities. You have goals and grand plans for your company. You have a brand to build, products and services to launch, more customers to win over and an opportunity to scale. You have so much to do and so little time!

Yet you’re challenged. You’re dreaming up ways to stretch your 24 hour-days into 48-hour days, spitballing ideas on how to meet these goals without adding headcount. Well, you’re not alone. From brand building to media relations to digital marketing, there are plenty of reasons why so many companies have found their solution by partnering with PR/marketing firms. Here are 6 reasons why hiring a PR and marketing firm is smart business.

1. Frees Up Your Time to Focus on What You Do Best

You're building your company, designing, developing and selling products and services. That’s what you do best. The PR agency has clients and products to market. We write, message and position you, pitch media, create news stories, secure speaking opportunities and awards, execute digital marketing – that’s what we do best. When you find your trusted agency, take a sigh of relief as you can now free up your time to focus on what you do best, paving the way for you to build products that are PR-worthy.

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6 Hard Truths About PR

We hear you. The marketplace is brutal. Customers are fickle. Competitors are breathing down your neck. And worse, some prospects have never even heard of you! You need positive press coverage and brand awareness yesterday — there’s simply no time to wait.

We wish we could come in and magically wave a wand to get you some visibility right now. But, unfortunately, public relations doesn’t work this way. PR, like so many other business processes, rewards the companies who approach it with preparation, commitment and time.

Getting rid of misconceptions and myths — and facing these 6 hard truths about PR — will help you gain traction and take advantage of all it has to offer.

 

Truth #1: PR Takes Time

Effective PR takes time. Like the sales process and growing a pipeline, PR is something we can’t do one day and walk away from the next. Companies in the know start by building a solid messaging and story foundation, creating quality content and relevant news angles, and cultivating the right audiences. This takes ongoing commitment and a regular sharing of your story in a variety of interesting ways to achieve PR success. The best results come to the companies who stick with it.

 

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5 Questions You Should Ask When Selecting a PR Agency

You've put in all the time and effort building your company. You know that your technology and brand story is a major differentiator, and that having the right PR agency partner will raise your awareness and credibility, catapult you to the next level, help get your story out, earn you positive media raves, and compel your prospects to buy from you and partner with you.

You know the timing is right to bring on board a trusted PR agency. But how do you choose the agency that’s right for you? Asking the following five questions might just get you closer to your ideal agency!

 

1. What is Their Track Record for Helping Companies Like Yours?

Finding a PR firm that has helped companies like yours is helpful. Look at companies that the agency has on their past and present roster. Are they from your or related industries? Are they startups or Fortune 500s? If you are an AI startup, agencies with applicable AI experience will understand your offerings and ramp up more quickly, but equally important, it means that your team will have relationships with reporters at the media outlets where you want to be featured. Treat the agency’s track record like a portfolio and prediction of how the agency will work with your company.

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5 Reasons Why Companies Outsource PR & Marketing

When you're running a company, trying to handle PR and marketing on top of everything else can be overwhelming. Sure, you know how important reaching out to your audience is, but between product launches, fundraising, sales prospecting, hiring, team building and the myriad of other things on your plate, the time just never appears. As much as you hate to admit it...you're not Superman or Wonderwoman.

We're here to tell you it's okay.

Great leaders know when to ask for help and how to delegate. So stop trying to grow that third shoulder to carry the weight of your company's marketing needs and instead share that load with a PR partner who knows what they're doing.

Here are 5 reasons why you should outsource your PR and marketing:

1. Delegate to Focus

Successful execution of your company's PR/marketing program is no side job. It's demanding work to be planning, strategizing, messaging, shelling out press releases, writing blog posts, case studies, social media, white papers, conducting media pitching and more. If it's not your only priority or even your area of expertise, it can weigh heavily upon your shoulders. Having a partner dedicated to this frees you up so you can focus on your mission-critical tasks.

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5 Signs that PR is Meant for You

A wise old woman once said, "There is more to life then meets the eye, including the success of your business. If fame and fortune are what you seek, then perhaps it would be wise to look to the lunar calendar."

Before you consult your friendly neighborhood fengshui master, the answers to a prosperous year may be found in the Chinese zodiac animals of public relations.

Here are five signs that PR is meant for you:

1. When You're Out & About, But Nobody Knows You

Industry trade shows are high-powered affairs where major players are conveniently located under one roof. So you mingle with a mission. But without any buzz about your company, you will most likely be dismissed with the networking kiss of death. "Oh...hum...what's the name of your company again?" These words strike you in the heart as your potential client nods, smiles, and walks away. If you are crying inside because you were branded a "nobody" among your peers, this, my friend, is a sign. Our zodiac advisor says it's time to summon the PR DOG, the best friend of man as well as the best friend of business.

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