By Guest Blogger Carissa Newton
If you had asked me what impact public relations made on my marketing eight to 10 years ago, I would not have had an answer. In my former corporate marketing position, public relations was a "have to do," but I didn’t really think it made an impact.
My opinion has changed. Over the last few years, I have worked with three very entrepreneurial companies and witnessed the power of public relations firsthand. PR is now a “must” to get our name out and to keep the buzz going.
While PR is a necessity, it isn’t always an easy sell to upper management unfamiliar with how to measure the impact of PR.
You must think of PR differently. I’ve found that by combining PR with online marketing, the impact is significant and measurable.
At my company, we do both inbound and outbound marketing. Inbound leads can come from phone calls, the Web or referrals. With every PR event/placement we generate, I can see a direct correlation with a spike in our inbound traffic. In fact, we have seen our inbound leads increase by over 70 percent and our average account values have more than doubled by adding PR to the marketing mix!
Clearly, PR brings power to my brand, my company and our message.
Do people call and say they learned about us through our PR? No, but it’s easy to see the contribution PR makes. Our inbound traffic typically is twice our outbound reach, thanks to PR.
Inbound marketing is the optimum type of lead generation. By focusing 80 percent of our marketing on generating inbound leads, we can more than double our results. PR is the “energizer bunny” of marketing: it keeps our results going…and going…and going.
Carissa Newton is director of marketing at Delivra, one of the original email service providers.