Wednesday, August 29, 2012

When cutting your business expenses is foolish

Often, the first thing to be cut in hard economic times is the advertising and Public Relations budgets.

Of course some ads continue to run: ads for large auto dealerships, chain furniture stores or national fast food chains run perpetually. They've got the money to stay on the air and keep people aware of their great car prices, deals on sectional couches and Big Macs, just in case we ever want these things.

Some smaller companies, however, pull their TV and newspaper ads and are never heard from again, because of their over-reliance on ads to bring in customers. I know of one company that decided to rely solely on small newspaper ads, and then they pulled the ads. They were gone within six months.

When they couldn’t afford to run ads, what little visibility they had created dried up, because the awareness an ads-only strategy provides is fleeting.

Smarter business owners – the ones who have employed Public Relations and reputation management strategies as well as running ads that back up their PR messages – know that these strategies WORK even when ads stop working. That’s because using PR to build a reputation has LASTING and POSITIVE influences on customers and potential customers.

Long after a TV ad is forgotten, people remember that a company raised $10,000 for a local charity they cared deeply about, or that a group of employees were there with a crew to clean up after a natural disaster, or they recall that local pizza parlor owner who gave free pizzas to their kid's class when they won a spelling bee (and they have the newspaper clippings to prove all three events!)

But when these businesses consider cutting back on reputation-building efforts, they are failing to understand not only the power of ongoing PR, but the nature of the news media.

Newspapers have been cutting back on their reporting staffs for more than a decade now. That fact alone should prove the ongoing value of PR. Why? Because papers have remained the same size, and editors are hungry for content. That means they rely on PR pros to provide them with news-rich and new-worthy content (via news releases, events and news availabilities) more than ever before.

That’s why PR pros like Stephen Abbott, principal of Abbott Public Relations, can be a Godsend to a company lacking the vast sums required for ad campaigns.

Abbott has years of experience in both the public relations field and in the field of news gathering, and can connect these kind of dots for clients.

As a writer skilled in creating content for news media that will appeal to editors, Abbott can create content that can get you noticed – at a time when competitors are foolishly cutting back on BOTH advertising and Public Relations campaigns.

And while it’s understandable that EXPENSIVE Public Relations firms can be a tough pill to swallow during tough times, APR can work with clients to make it affordable to keep building your company’s reputation.

APR can be found online at, or by phone at 603.341.0372.