Public relations and advertising are both critical to promoting a business. Given the pandemic that is creating fear and doubt in small businesses, which one will be cheaper and more lucrative for Small and Medium-sized Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in 2021?
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Although PR and advertising have similar goals, both public relations and advertising are very important for marketing purposes in 2021. They usually work best when used at the same time. However, by 2021, most SMEs are in the rebuilding phase with a limited budget to market their businesses.
When it comes to creating brand awareness, there are two things that SMBs are currently looking for in 2021: a brand awareness campaign that generates leads while saving money. Both PR and advertising can do this.
The question is, which one is more effective?
Difference in cost
In 2021, public relations will give SMEs access to marketing services at national level. When PR is done through an agency, SMEs only pay an agency fee, which exposes them to as many national and municipal newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations in the country as possible.
Advertising in 2021 is expensive for SMBs as you pay an agency fee to create an ad, pay the ad for television and radio, or newspapers and magazines. Although this option is expensive, unlike PR, SMBs can control the content of an ad.
PR is content marketing and advertising is just marketing. For PR to work, journalists need to be convinced of the strong news content related to a SMME’s product or service, but promoting an SMME’s work just needs to have the right budget.
Bring in leads and sales
To answer the question of which marketing method an SMME will generate leads and sales in 2021, we need to understand that both methods work. The quick way to get sales and leads as an SMME is to have both an advertising budget and a PR budget. They complement each other more than they compete with each other.
Public relations are more effective in achieving this role simply because it is content driven. Usually people buy newspapers and magazines to read content in this median other than to read advertisements.
However, PR takes longer to produce results than ads. At The DCF, we typically ask for a minimum of three months to convert television and radio interviews and printed articles into leads. PR takes longer as most media outlets do not allow PR articles to contain contact information as these media houses rely on advertising to make a profit.
Ads like outdoor media (street posters and billboards) stay stronger due to the repetition they trigger in our subconscious. For example, you might see a billboard every day on the way to work or the gym. The brand being advertised lives rent-free in your head for most of the day.
For affordability and long-term positive impact, PR is the answer for your SMME in 2021. For an immediate resolution, advertising is the answer for your SMMEs in 2021. However, for best results, both advertising and PR are used in 2021 for the formula for success SMEs.