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Articles / practice / Contrary to stereotypes: real PR is effective and affordable
26 November 2010
Contrary to stereotypes: real PR is effective and affordable

How often do you hear that PR-effects are imperceptible and do not bring results? That PR is too expensive? Those small companies, which do not work with final buyer, do not need PR at all? This demonstrates the power of the stereotypes about PR-services.
How to deal with them successfully tells Valery Kureiyko, CEO of strategic communications company Publicity Creating.

What main stereotypes about PR-services you can call?

Most common are stereotypes about impalpability of PR, because not all agencies can prove to their customers that PR-activity leads to the marketing result. We have long been aware that communication is inextricably linked to the achievement of marketing or reputation result for the customer. Great working experience and market success of our customers only prove it.
 

How does your company demonstrate that PR can give quite a significant result in the form of increased sales?

Almost 13 years on the market - and this is the longest period of work among the Ukrainian PR-agencies today - gave us a great base for analysis. Experience shows that while evaluating PR-effectiveness customers fall into two categories: those who are willing to undertake research and see direct result of the PR program (for example, how has changed opinion / attitude of the target audience to their product or brand in %). And the second category is customers who do not conduct research. Because during their cooperation with us, changes in opinion and attitude, and after that – behavior of the audience, have become evident for them.
For instance, potential dealers tell our customer: "We want to work with your company, because we know a lot about you, your company is well-known, reliable, and professional". Or call new clients, because they believe this company is the best in its segment ... How do they know this information? Particularly, that is achievement of PR, because we saturate the market with desired, positive information, we reason price, form the image and reputation. All our customers have informational security.
 

Is there a perception that the PR is the same ads, just more expensive? How do you react to such a stereotype?

To date, most already know that advertising and PR are two different things. Advertising is a direct informing the customer with all the embellishments, because it is a paid publication or introduction. PR is certainly more objective and two-way form of communication. PR should be diverse, comprehensive, truthful, active, and must lead to something. If a customer stated specific objectives in the beginning of the period, in the end we have to say about their performance. Many our customers have risen on these steps: make plans, express them, embody, and then confirm that plans are achieved. Such an "easy" process. Thus, a customer rises higher and higher. And competitors at this time often “sleep” – they have no PR, no reliable partner in this area, there is no saturation with positive information.
And about that it is expensive ... Just the opposite, PR-activities are always cheaper than direct advertising, and this is at comparable, and often higher efficiency. In general, forward-thinking customers are not interested in the figure itself, but in the result of every invested hryvnya.
 

Many people think that only politicians and showbiz stars need PR, but your company has been providing the PR- services to B2B-markets for many years. How have you persuaded your customers?

We make "stars" and "politicians" from our customers:)) They are information and ideologically supported. They are "politicians" in the sense that they have an ideology, and "stars" – because they are becoming popular, respected speakers in their direction, market, and known in the business environment. These are popular people, to whom the media address as soon as something happens in the market, or at the beginning and end of business season for scoring of projections and results. People, who are ambitious, who seek publicity, with our help become such. But what is more important - from communication activity they also receive marketing result.

How many people believe that the PR is an organization of single large-scale events, but is not regular pointlike work with the audience?

Usually we deal with companies who believe in the PR-communications and want to work in this direction. We must develop an information model for a certain period, and the customer understands that this is not one-off activity, but a system, a constant stream of interlinked key messages. How ambitious evens are to be – that is dictated by goals, objectives, target audience and budget. Most companies do not need gala-show; they just need pointlike work with target audiences - partners, dealers, investors, employees, customers ... You just have to distinguish PR in the market B2C and B2B.

And some believe that public relations are the only relations with the media ... Is this true?

Last 2 years are interesting because this stereotype has naturally dissolved. Firstly, the media started to decrease in number, and some of them – in quality. Secondly, many companies "saw the light" and realized that we have to work with audiences that generate revenue – i.e. with consumers, partners, customers, employees. Journalists in this sense are supporting audience.
Publicity Creating as far back as 2007 on the Ukrainian PR-market started to assert that PR should be associated with the marketing result. Maybe because of that we and our customers have experienced better the crisis of 2009 and 2010, continued to hold appropriate activities on all the really important target audiences.
Now many companies are returning to the communication activities, including PR. Now the main thing for us is to make the PR-services of the agency available and thus provide the highest quality. By our professional work we can chase away any stereotypes…