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Lakeland Public Relations

Market Research As A Lakeland Public Relations Tool

So, you think you know what your target audience’s wants and needs? You think you know how to reach them, how to answer their queries, and how to define what makes them tick and what makes them support your business? Unfortunately, that’s not how it goes with Lakeland public relations. If you really want to reach your audience and make sure to deliver products and services that they would support, you need a market research; you need to study where they are, what they do, what they want, and what they need.

By definition, market research is a systematic and objective collection and analysis of data about your target market, your competition, and the environment. The data should be able to let you understand your market better, as well as craft techniques and strategies that would reach them and make them react positively to the products, services, personalities, issues, ideas, and advocacies that you propose. There should be an increased understanding of your market and the ways that would help you become successful in your goal to reach them and persuade them to buy, subscribe, support, and believe in what you espouse.

But what most people forget is that market research is not a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing cycle, a continuous study of every data that would affect the client. While many people idle at it and set it aside for later, thinking that one market research is enough, the legitimate PR firms know the value of continuing study to understand the market better. An ongoing market research will benefit the PR firm and the client as well. The PR firm will have a better and updated understanding of the market while the client will benefit from the well-crafted strategies the firm will compose.

The power of information and what you can do with it is outstanding when it comes to market research. The results are unbelievable and incomparable to the techniques used by advertising firms and even other PR agencies that didn’t believe on how market research can change the game. The data culled from market research is the most important piece of data you have about the market you’re trying to reach. It will guide you in creating sound communication strategies that would complete your end goal.

If done properly, the findings and conclusions you will reach because of market research will outweigh the cost of the research itself.

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Lakeland Public Relations

Understanding The Different Tools Used For Lakeland Public Relations

If there is one thing that would magnify the difference between advertising and Lakeland public relations, it’s the tools that they use to reach their end goals. Public relations, you would notice, uses well-crafted strategies and tools that are grounded in research and experience. They are not bought. There’s no airtime or space to be purchased. What PR firms have done is to build trust between them and the platforms that they use—whether it’s traditional media, new media, or a market research firm.

Public relations uses a lot of different techniques to get the message across to their intended audience. And what is great about these tools is that there is no limit to the audience they can reach. They may be targeting a specific market, but who’s to say that some other market won’t be watching the same news and interview, or accidentally attending an outreach program organized by the PR firm?

Writing speeches, press releases, and blogs

Perhaps, PR is most known for coming out with speeches, articles, press releases, and blogs that answer the issues affecting the PR firm’s clients. These speeches and press releases will be published in newspapers and magazines, and aired in radio and TV stations that the target audience tune in to. These are not published as is, but sent to journalists covering the particular issue, so they could incorporate the “client’s” views into their articles. They will be passed on as legitimately extracted views from the client. They would not look like advertising at all, though the goal is the same—to promote a business, a product, a service, or a personality.

A speech, on the other hand, will directly address the issue at hand. An event will be made accordingly, where the speech will be delivered by the client. The intention of the speech will be to clear whatever issue the client is going through but it would not be crafted in a way that the audience will understand that the message was defined by the issue. Albeit, the speechwriter or the PR firm will build the message in such a way that it would bring out the desired outcome without having to be obvious about it. The true color of the speech’s goals is in the meaning of the words, and not the words themselves.

Everything that a PR firm does is to build the reputation of its client—whether it’s in answering the issues faced by that client or espousing a campaign that client is spearheading. Every method used and platform chosen is geared towards a successful campaign.

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Lakeland Public Relations

What Is Lakeland Public Relations?

When people hear about Lakeland public relations, they think it’s about advertising and promoting products and services. While that is true, promotion being one of the primary functions of a good PR, advertising is a paid form of persuading clients to promote an idea or purchase a product. Public relations, on the other hand, uses very specific and tested communication methods to try and convince people that they need to purchase an item or they need to support a campaign. Generally, it is much more effective than mere advertising. Not to mention, PR is also way cheaper than paying for a space on newspaper or magazine or for airtime in radio or television.

What advertising agencies and firms do is to pay journalists, to look for ad spaces in billboards, newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV stations. They produce jingles used for commercials and they hire actors to promote a company. They are the ones you see handling out free samples or flyers in malls and grocery stores. They are the ones who produce coupons as a way to promote an upcoming sale.

Unlike advertisers, public relations aim to persuade its external or internal audiences through earned and unpaid sources. Whether it’s social media, traditional media, a combination of both, or speaking engagements, public relations firms communicate to their audience through tried and tested and unpaid methods.

Public relations is a persuasion business, which means PR firms must convince an audience inside and outside its usual sphere of influence to subscribe to an idea, purchase a product, support a position, and recognize your accomplishments. It is a strategic communication process that builds “mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

This is where PR and advertising part ways: When a celebrity goes through a bad publicity, advertising firms would think of gimmicks like commercials and billboards to address the situation. A PR firm, on the other hand, would organize an interview with a respected journalist or would write a speech addressing the issue. They will generate a positive publicity for the celebrity in order to convince and persuade the public to change its perception about him/her.

Other methods being used by PR firms are writing and distributing press releases, speech writing, writing pitches and sending them to journalists, creating and executing special events, conducting market research, expanding business contacts and network, writing and blogging for the web, handling crisis public relations, promoting on social media.

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Lakeland Public Relations

The Price You Pay For A Good PR Vis-à-vis An Advertisement

A client once purchased a one-page ad in a weekly magazine. That caused him $125,000. That client expected to get a barrage of phone calls, inquiries, emails, and viral videos about the advertisement. He got nothing. On the other hand, another client hired a Lakeland public relations firm, which landed him an interview with a national newspaper. He got quoted. Two sentences from him were published on a national newspaper. What he got was solid credibility, including invitations for speaking engagements and new clients.

An advertising firm has no way to earn but to charge hundreds of thousands of dollars. They buy space from newspaper companies and airtime from television and radio stations. Those do not come cheap. Most likely, they need to do this several times in a week because the success of advertising hinges on the frequency of seeing the products and services. Sure, there are many advertising methods that work and produce success, but none of these have the same stability and consistency as PR strategies.

See the difference in the situation explained above? An advertising firm used money to place an advertisement on a magazine. How many people will read that magazine? Out of the number of subscribers that magazine has, how many of them would not flip the page when they see that ad? How many will actually read the ad and recognize what it intends for you to do? Out of all the people who will read the ad, how many will actually purchase the product or hire the services of the company? The chances are slim, and you paid $125,000 for that?

Getting quoted on a national newspaper would allow your target audience to see you as the real deal. They would think, “Oh, a reputable media outfit trusted his judgment enough to quote him for this article. Maybe we should see what he/his products is all about.” What this PR strategy used is trust. Audience will more than believe an authority validated by the media, and not something they simply see on a page of a magazine.

Don’t get us all wrong. Advertising campaigns work, but for very particular products and services. If you want to build the reputation of your company and even you as an individual, you need a Lakeland public relations company for that. A PR strategy works in such a way that in the future, you won’t need to advertise or promote yourself. The reputation built by the PR strategy will carry you on.

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Lakeland Public Relations

Differentiating Advertising And Lakeland Public Relations

Lakeland public relations is not paid, unlike advertisements. That is the primary difference between these two. Although the end-goal is the same—promote a business, build a positive relationship for a client, and manage a PR crisis for an individual or a company—the methods used to arrive to that conclusion are completely different. Public relations will not use money or favors to get a space on the newspaper or a television show. What PR does is to build a communication strategy that would persuade journalists this issue must be talked and written about.

Sure, PR firms also charge hundreds of dollars to handle a PR job, but that’s nothing compared to the amount of money advertising agencies ask in order to create a commercial that would run a month or two on social media, print, and the broadcast media.

Paid versus earned

This is where PR firms are always clear: they build their influence through earned, not paid, trust. If journalists pick up a press released they did, it is because these journalists believe on what that particular PR agency did and what it is trying to do for its clients. Advertising, on the other hand, uses money, an inconceivable amount of it, in order to buy favors and space on various traditional and new media platforms.

Builds exposure versus builds trust

What advertisements will give your company is exposure. Whether it’s on social media or the traditional media, you’re going to be noticed. The questions are, however, will clients click on that link, read the article, or watch the commercial? And even if they do, will they be persuaded enough to purchase a product, subscribe to an idea, support a campaign, and recognize achievements? What PR firms do is to build trust, so that it is easier for the public to believe an idea that an organization espouses or buy a product that a company makes. PR firms use this trust it built in the community to push an idea, a product, and a service.

Skeptic audience versus media validation

The thing with advertisements is that the audience is always skeptical of the information it receives from commercials, billboards, and other advertising strategies. On the other hand, media itself will validate the information culled from PR firms, especially when it comes to building the reputation of a public official or a celebrity. The amount of PR strategies used in these cases will persuade the media to validate the information and enhance the strategies.

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Lakeland Public Relations

Lakeland Public Relations – Do we need Lakeland PR?

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When we interview prospective clients and ask them what their understanding of a Lakeland public relations firm is we get interesting answers. The number one hurdle in the minds of the people we meet with is they have an image in their mind of a Fortune 500 company hiring a large PR firm or Advertising agency as we all grew up seeing in movies and tv dramas. They just don’t see their organization it those ways and assume the hiring of a PR firm to be financially out of reach and almost pretentious to even think of doing so.

Let’s clarify. Do Fortune 500 companies retain the services of high priced PR firms? Yes, they spend mega money for these services and if any of them are reading this post we encourage them to contact and hire us immediately ;)

So back to the real world. Do small to mid-sized organizations really need a PR firm and can they afford it? Yes and yes. Responsible organizations desiring to grow and build a solid foundation for longevity need to either hire internal talent to help guide the ship or they need to hire an outside firm to gain the skill sets they lack.

Have you noticed in all cities that when you ask who to call for any common service you will get a list of names with the top three being almost an exact match? Someone in these firms over the years has earned these reputations through hard honest work, consistent advertising, great sales teams, and many other ways. Something healthy and positive is going on.

Would you like for your organization to be on that short list or would you like to maintain your hard earned reputation and make sure you stay there? We need to speak.
What about the cost issue? That’s a great question. The cost to your business or organization of not having a well thought out PR and Marketing plan that all members of your team know and follow can be huge. What is the value of a customer, donor, investor?

Now if you meant what does it cost to hire us to handle your PR needs then you’ll be excited to know that we have plans available that all organizations can afford and will benefit from.

Give us a call to discuss your Lakeland Public Relations needs and let’s discover what areas of your organization will benefit from having talented people rethinking and promoting you.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and we look forward to speaking soon.