Spread the Word
Branding • Advertising • Media • PR
One of the most effective forms of advertising, what people call word-of-mouth, doesn’t cost a dime, but it can easily backfire. Satisfied customers typically share their positive experience verbally with 3 to 5 friends and, increasingly, to a wider audience on Facebook. Dissatisfied customers are generally more vocal, telling 9 or 10 friends directly about their unhappy experience, then airing their complaints on Facebook and/or posting them to a review site for hundreds more to see. And while you can’t control what people might say to one another about your business, you can shift the chatter in your favor. Simply strive to provide the best possible products and services at all times so there will be no reason for customers to complain.
In addition to paid advertising, consider the value of public relations: press releases, feature articles, white papers, fact sheets, speeches and public service announcements.
As a promotional device, public relations is similar to advertising, but without the guarantees. With advertising, you provide content to fill the particular space or time slot you have paid for. With public relations, you submit a story or press release to a media outlet and hope it will be used in a timely manner.
So why bother with PR? Two reasons: preparing a public relations message costs less than creating/placing an ad, and public relations activities carry a built-in credibility ads do not. Everyone knows an advertising message was bought and paid for; a story in the editorial column of a newspaper, on the other hand, is thought to be unbiased and more credible.