Shifting your entire promotional budget into on-site event marketing or press release distribution is a bit like having your financial portfolio manager tell you to pour all your money into a single fund. It’s rarely a good choice in the long run. In investing parlance, the best approach is called “diversification.” In my line of work, we call it “integration.”
Sending a press release to an editor, securing an exhibit slot at an industry conference, or hosting an event are all important traditional elements or “tactics” in most campaigns. But they cannot stand alone. As you’ve likely noticed over the past decade, the power of the Internet has ballooned and “others” are using it. However, you may still see it as a “tool” or some minor obligatory clause in your business plan.
PR is a living animal, constantly adapting to new environments and getting stronger as it forms and maintains relationships with people in real time. This is thanks to the ever-growing opportunities in open communication sources: Web, social pages, apps, Internet TV, and sharing services. The list goes on. But online marketing shouldn’t be treated as the first and only course of action when you want to build your brand. The fact is that traditional channels still need to be utilized simultaneously in any campaign. They must converge.
An effective PR executive will know how your brand should dwell in the online community, and he or she won’t fall back on the occasional announcement or blog post. Living in this neighborhood puts you face-to-face with both believers and detractors. Both are critical in giving you the opportunity to deliver your message and enhance your credibility with customers and potential partners. The same can be said for standing in front of your booth at the annual conference or chatting with a reporter over a coffee.
Never forget the fundamentals. Time-tested methods of traditional “peoples’ relations” and online strategies must be woven together in order to create not just name recognition of your product or brand, but an integrated and living presence in the marketplace.