Many have tried to find ways to show the difference between PR and advertising, explaining that advertisers buy space to convince people that a product or brand is cool and desirable, while PR merely needs to put word out there in order to create a favourable impression of your products and services.
Ruth Golembo, MD of Lange 360
The impression this incorrectly conjures up says Ruth Golembo, MD of Lange 360 Strategic Communications is that advertising is expensive, but PR is a cheap option through which to build a good reputation.
But, the world has changed and trust and belief in brands and products has become even more important to consumers who are spoilt for choice. PR has added a whole gamut of ways in which to engage and add experiences and emotion to the stories it tells as proof points of a brand or corporation's heart, soul and key product benefits.
And it has long moved away from a low value billing system based on getting free advertising space through issuing press releases, to professional fees based on an initiatives system which has more to do with changing channels and new strategic methods for communication than with finance.
Today clients should look for qualitative and quantitative measurement for PR outputs rather than try to engage or select PR consultants by their price per press release or per hour as these factors cannot provide a fair measure.
In tough economic times, there is far greater emphasis on getting more bang for your buck and it's extremely important that each marketing rand delivers value to a business. The value goes beyond mere extrapolating AVE values to ones which measure return on investment by outtakes (perception shifts), outcomes (behavioural change) and engagement (the level of stakeholder interaction achieved), but of course these are not easily quantified as rands and cents measurement.
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Lange 360 is one of the most influential communications consultancies in South Africa. It provides full-service communications for corporate, financial and consumer brands as well as investor relations, brand building, crisis communications, media liaison and a broad range of marketing services.- more....
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