Saving money is important, and you don’t have to sacrifice results to do it
I recently wrote an expert column for bizjournals.com and its network of 43 print and online business journals across the U.S. about how American companies can save money on their PR firm bills. These tips are very popular among clients at Axia Public Relations and I wanted to share a few more to provide additional special value for our blog readers.
11. Find out what your peer companies are paying.
For companies with revenues exceeding $50 million, we have industry-specific research detailing what other companies are spending on PR. Armed with that information, you have a powerful card to play at the negotiating table.
Overall, we’ve found - depending on the industry and the level of competition - that most large corporations are investing between 0.1-1% of their annual revenue on PR. And smaller companies are investing a much large percent, up to 10% of their revenue on PR, esp. startups and companies who are well funded. As a percentage of revenue, the larger the company, the less percentage of revenue they spend on PR. But don’t let that mislead you. Overall, the larger the company, the more dollars they’re spending on PR overall. The most sophisticated companies know the power of PR.
12. The best PR results come over time.
Remember: The best public relations results come from years of proactive and strategic PR. Every year, our clients enjoy more and more ROI for their PR investments. Therefore, we highly recommend that companies invest in PR for many years.
Many companies may desire 30–90-day PR projects, but you don’t build a brand overnight. PR blips and bumps are just that. As Warren Buffett says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation.”
13. Partner with a PR firm that knows you.
Finding the best PR firm takes time and, whether you’re in a crisis or not, a PR firm that can react immediately is always a plus. There’s value in retaining a PR firm that knows your company and effectively manages your PR. Don’t waste time and opportunity negotiating project agreements.
14. Cut advertising.
Research shows that marketing works best when PR creates a brand and advertising supports it. Why cut PR when it is more cost-effective than advertising? With PR, consumers perceive you as a thought-leader, but they often ignore advertisements. If you need to cut, consider cutting advertising first.
If you haven’t seen them yet, check out my Business Journals columns, where you’ll find the first 10 tips to help you save money without giving up any gains your PR firm can help you win.
If you’ve tried all of these tips and you still feel that you’re drastically overpaying for the value you’re receiving, it may be time to consider re-evaluating that PR partnership. If, after careful consideration and going through all the appropriate steps before making such an important decision, you conclude that it’s time to “see other people,” Axia Public Relations offers a helpful e-book, How to Fire Your PR Firm, to help you move on and find the PR partner who will elevate your brand to new heights.
Jason Mudd, APR, is CEO of Axia Public Relations. He is certified in inbound marketing and is an Emmy Award-winning, accredited public relations practitioner, speaker, author and entrepreneur. Connect with Jason on Twitter@jasonmudd9 and Axia Public Relations @axiapr. Be sure to tweet and share your thoughts below. We’ll read and respond to each of them.
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