Marketing Publicity 101

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This largely misunderstood and underutilized niche in business to business marketing is generating qualified leads, increasing sales and helping companies reach expansion goals

Marketing publicity – a hybrid of marketing and PR – is proving to be one of the most effective forms of business to business marketing and promotion today for improved lead generation, sales, and expansion. Despite its successes, which include impressive company turnarounds, reports of phones ringing off the hook and record setting sales years, marketing publicity remains a largely misunderstood niche and often plays second fiddle to old (and largely ineffective) marketing standbys such as advertising and trade shows.

Marketing publicity involves promoting a product or service through the mass media. By writing feature articles, customer testimonials, and new product releases and getting it placed as editorial in consumer or trade publications (online and print), marketing public relations firms can generate a large quantity of published articles over time to build brand awareness and generate a large quantity of superior leads.

The power behind marketing publicity is in its objective, third party endorsement. First, these articles are often laden with positive customer testimonials. Second, the fact that the publication has published the article as editorial is also a form of third party endorsement. These factors add up to a level of credibility that is difficult to achieve with other business to business marketing techniques.

“By sustaining a high volume of credible articles in the media, your prospects are sure to encounter and read the articles several times, allowing the message to impinge,” says John W. Elliott, CEO of Power PR (, a business to business marketing public relations firm. “In this manner, you can communicate potentially with millions of prospects at an extremely low overall cost per prospect.”

Today, some marketing public relations firms are also stepping into the field of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). According to Elliott, most of the focus in SEO has been in optimizing the company website. However, this limited view of search engine optimization rarely gets a company into the coveted top slot of keyword search results by itself.

Instead, properly optimized, news and feature articles optimized and distributed by marketing public relations firms are vaulting clients to the top of major news and search engine rankings.

What is surprising is the speed at which properly optimized material can impact news and search engine rankings. Many companies, within days of distributing an optimized news article over major wire services and on key industry web sites, reach the top of news search engine results under their keyword terms. The reported payoff typically includes an immediate spike in website traffic and call-in leads

As these articles are distributed through major wire services and posted on key industry websites, the major search engines begin to locate and index the releases. If the article is properly optimized with hyperlinks back to the company’s web site, there will be a corresponding increase to a company’s search engine ranking as well.        

Just as it has already proven for these and a large number of other companies, a well-crafted print and Internet marketing publicity program is an increasingly vital element of any business to business marketing plan. Look for it to gain increasing acceptance as the millennium's newest tool to help any organization expand.


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Heather Metcalfe
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