The concept of the public relations advertising existed long before we had a term for it. In order to survey an island west of Iceland, the great Viking explorer Eric the Red left Norway in 981 A.D. This new land was a little more than a gigantic iceberg, except the southern coast. Being a natural at advertising, he painted a picture of the temperate climate, Rolling Meadows and a lush farmland in order to persuade immigrants to leave Norway and settle the island. He named it Greenland. Thus, a brand was created. Hundreds of land-starved Vikings boarded long ships and headed west for this so-called "Greenland."
The media landscape changed dramatically, since television sets were mass-produced back in the 1950s and advertisers' choices were limited. There were three television networks, ABC, CBS and NBC; five major magazines, Time, Life, Newsweek, The Saturday Evening Post and Look, newspapers in every market and a slew of radio stations, programmed primarily for music. Now, there are a multitude of media outlets to fit every taste.
Today, our homes receive sixty three channels. With print, there are now over four times as many magazine titles to choose from, as consumers had in 1950. During the past few years, the other forms of communication have dramatically proliferated as well.
Television has lost viewers in almost every demographic group since 2000. With Interactive TV (iTV), consumers can buy products and services with the enhanced TV, users can interact with programs and commercials, while continuing to watch through picture-in-picture technology, etc. The Internet radio is another recent innovation. This new media takes various forms.
With the development of the media, the public relations and advertising became used almost in every sphere of life. They have their own rules and fundamentals. Regardless of the size of a business, an understanding of the laws of the public relations advertising can reap huge rewards. However, companies often miss the fundamentals of the public relations advertising.
The public relations advertising helps manage the perception of products. According to the Small Business Administration, five percent of an entrepreneur's gross sales should be budgeted for the public relations advertising.
Five important rules for the public relations advertising success are suggested below.
1. Use One Message: a high response rate ad should convey a single message.
2. Add Credibility: it has become a human nature to distrust advertising; thus, claims need to be real and credible.
3. Test Everything: you can use coupons, codes and specials to measure a headline, timing and placement of your ad. Testing can be as simple as asking every customer for several weeks how they heard of your business.
4. Be Easy to Contact: this is a simple but forgotten rule by most companies-every single brochure, box email and all company literature should have full contact information, including a website and an e-mail address, phone and fax numbers, and a company address.
5. Create Curiosity: a successful public relations advertising does not sell a product or service-it has to generate interest and make a customer want more information.
The public relations advertising takes planning, testing and a constant exposure to have an impact on your small business. Done correctly, it can be a winning strategy.