Read All About It

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“NEWS is what someone wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising.” – Reuven Frank, former head of NBC news

The Economist has a very interesting survey of the PR industry. You should take a look.

As all of us in the start up business know, outside of online or DR advertising, the most impactful way to get your brand and message out there with less resources is public relations. Now it seems the rest of the world is taking notice of this as well. Including P&G. Just like everyone else they are increasingly turning to alternatives to big media advertising because they want a measurable return on investment from their campaigns.

“In a recent internal study, P&G concluded that the return was often better from a PR campaign than from traditional forms of advertising, according to Hans Bender, the firm’s manager of external relations. One reason is that in comparison with many other types of marketing, PR is cheap. In P&G’s case, it can represent as little as 1% of a brand’s marketing budget.”

Spending on PR in America has been growing strongly and reached some $3.7 billion last year. PR spending will grow by almost 9% a year. This is faster than the overall market for advertising and marketing. Wow.

Other commentators on this trend are Laura and Al Ries. Their book, “The Fall of Advertising & the Rise of PR” asserts “PR has credibility… Advertising does not.” Their advice, much like that we give to most of our portfolio companies, is that a marketing campaign should start with publicity (or online marketing) and shift to advertising only after the PR objectives have been achieved.

Good food for thought. But here is a counter

The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper.” – Thomas Jefferson