Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Heart and Soul of Advertising

Check-out page 102 of the August issue of Canadian Jeweller Magazine for an article about space management written by yours truly.  I’m very proud of the way it turned-out; as opposed to my article in the previous edition.  This current one was actually published the way I wrote it.  The hiring article I did was slashed and altered mercilessly to the point that it didn’t reflect the intent of my writing.

Here’s a good lesson in advertising and social media marketing versus P.R.  I can tell you how to write a compelling press release to generate free publicity.  Whether you submit a fully written article to a newspaper starving for content or a teaser to motivate a more formal paper to write about you, what they end-up printing is up to THEM.

Paid-for advertising allows you to fully control the content.  What you tell them to print or broadcast is exactly what will happen.  Whether you actually write the copy or not, it’s you who approves the final product before it’s printed or aired.

In the world of social media, I’m talking only to my friends.  I can print my thoughts verbatim.  I can use informal grammar to keep it personal, yo.  I can publish my opinions without worrying about advertisers taking exception.

I don’t have stats on the success of public relations campaigns, but I’d estimate that well-written press releases might generate some lineage for you about 30 to 40% of the time.  But I would estimate that only about half the time, they’d print what you want.  So that takes your effectiveness down to 15-20%. 

Still worth it?  Could be.  Is all publicity good publicity?  No.  One piece printed about you that misrepresents one of your core competencies can have a negative effect on the public’s perception of who you are and what you are great at.  Magic happens when a new customer comes into your store and they have their expectations fully met or exceeded.  Bad things happen when you advertise something, or someone publishes something about you that is not fully experienced in your store.

David Ogilvy (The King of Madison Avenue) wrote that “the heart and soul of advertising is a BIG PROMISE.”  Never forget that a promise made is a debt unpaid.  Social media, advertising or P.R. is only effective when it makes big promises on which you ultimately deliver.

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