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Making Money Inch By Inch - Part Two

How to launch a business using advertising and public relations

One of the most exciting aspects of having invented, created and marketed my own product was the promotional tour in China for the Deeds to the United States. At that time the Internet was not big at all in Asia (or the United States for that matter) so I couldn't count on people surfing the net to find a web site. The Deeds were selling at a phenomenal rate in China, in fact nearly 100,000 Deeds are owned by proud Chinese who happily boast that they own a piece of America. Having seen what public relations can do for sales overseas, as soon as I returned I hired a public relations agency to handle my domestic press and publicity. I was already receiving calls from the media, but wanted much, much more press coverage to launch the project properly...and without spending that much money. Of course "that much money" is relative, so let me explain why I made the decision I did. The difference between using advertising vs. public relations (when you don't have a budget for both) in dollars and sense terms is significant. In terms of creative, control and timing, it's even more so...but might be worth it. And in my case, I'm certain it was a decision that paid off. When you devote your budget or part of it, to advertising you'll know in advance what, when and where your ad will appear. You've designed it (with or without an advertising agency), you selected the publications in which you want it to appear...and sometimes even in which section or on what page, and you definitely have placed the ad for a specific edition (local, regional or national, if a larger publication) and when exactly it is to run. You're not in for any surprises when you open that publication. When relying on public relations as a marketing tool, you lose all of that, you have no control of when, where and what might be said about you and your product. The latter touched very close to home for me. I seem to have remembered when I was a child reading or hearing about scandals, swindles, and conniving schemes involving the sale of swamp lands in Florida to unsuspecting retirees. Many people lost their money on account of these types of major scams. That's exactly what I did not want; any negative press whatsoever. So what are the finances of each? Well, when you place any ad in a magazine, newspaper or even television/radio you're given a rate card and depending on the size of your account or budget...and your negotiating skills you'll pay for what you're going to get. For many, many years while working in the television industry and was advertising vice president of two divisions of one of the networks, I always negotiated as large a discount as possible, and then...when I was sure I was paying as little as possible, I then negotiated upwards for a prime position. I always felt that if I were paying for an advertisement, I wanted to make absolutely certain that it was going to be seen. So with magazines, I only purchased "inside cover," "page 3," or either of the back covers (inside or out). This way, for a slight premium above my already low price, I was going to reach every reader, page-turner or passerby (so to speak). I'd also have control of exactly what I wanted people to know...to make them become my customer. As I said previously, I was in control of everything - the graphics, colors, copy and now, placement. With public relations and publicity you don't. Why? How come? Well many things come into play. Where to start? We can cover that topic next. End Part II

Author:Jonathan Plight Category:Advertising Published:26-Oct-2005 Tags: advertising and PR