Why Taking your Marketing Publicity Efforts In-House Is A Recipe for Failure

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Sheer volume of work required, not capability of staff, is the difference between success and failure of business to business marketing publicity programs.

The hot new topic in business to business marketing today is marketing publicity, which involves promoting a company’s product or service through the mass media – particularly in print and Internet publications. Based on the power of third party endorsements – both through use of customer testimonials and the implied endorsement of a publication when they run the material as editorial – this brand of publicity is a powerful tool that can generate a large quantity of leads and sales.

However, conducting a business to business marketing publicity campaign demands a tremendous expertise, time and effort, which is why most companies outsource to a professional public relations firm. Still, many companies opt instead to bring the effort in-house.

“Many companies are extremely interested in this type of business to business marketing,” says John W. Elliott, Founder of Power PR (http://www.powerpr.com), a marketing public relations firm. “But some start thinking ‘I can just assign that to my marketing staff and I won’t add to my marketing budget.’”

According to Elliott, this is a recipe for failure because a full business to business marketing publicity program must result in a high volume of published articles over time to build the repetition required for lead generation and sales.

The result – or lack of results – becomes painfully apparent about 6 months later. In some cases, Elliott says, some companies even jump to the unfortunate conclusion that “this type of publicity doesn’t work for us.”

To illustrate his point, Elliott says that Power PR conducts literally hundreds of one-on-one phone conversations a month on behalf of their clients, adding that this often takes thousands of attempts.

“We literally have Media Relations Specialists whose sole job is to contact editors to pitch the releases,” says Elliott. “All they do is call and call and call. I have never met an in-house staff member that has the time or desire for this level of phone calling.”

Elliott is quick to point out that quality plays a critical role too - primarily in knowing how to skillfully approach and pitch editors on the value of each press release.

For companies like Power PR that rely one-on-one phone calling (as opposed to the “mass fax” approach of most public relations firms), this is the differentiator between generating a large volume of quality published articles and getting a few small hits.

Unfortunately, overburdened marketing personnel often “skip” the phone calls and instead fax or e-mail material with no follow up. The result: a few scattered releases, but none of the volume or repetition required for lead generation.

Writing editorial-quality feature articles and news releases is also a skill. Although it might be tempting to assign writing to in-house marketing personnel, they typically know little, if anything, about crafting a promotional document that can stand up as editorial.

“With a high volume of quality published article over time, a business to business marketing publicity program is an extremely powerful tool that directly impacts leads, sales and expansion,” says Elliott. “On the other hand, a low volume of published articles is almost a wasted exercise.”


Heather Metcalfe




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