Today with tight marketing budgets and the plethora of ways consumers get their news and information it is vital to incorporate the power of public relations into the marketing mix.
Imagine PR like a giant hand stirring a big pot. A pot where ‘real time’ marketing is of the essence. This is when PR delivers all the vehicles, from television and radio to social media, to stir up the buzz about you, your company, and your new plants and products.
PR stretches your marketing budget, positions your service, product or plant as a “must have” for the garden, and drives consumers into the stores to ask for you by name.
"Today, great brands are built with PR, not advertising," say American marketing strategists Al and Laura Ries.
Pulls Customers In
Public Relations takes advantage of ‘instant news’ to position you as a leader. It’s the push vs pull marketing dynamic. As a matter of fact, in The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR contend public relations has become the most effective way to build a brand. It’s all about reputation. Until a good reputation is established, Ries argues consumers just glaze over any advertising, not even seeing your paid message.
Public relations is particularly important in the lawn and garden industry. Research shows consumers get their gardening information first from friends, then gardening experts either at garden centers or from magazine and newspaper. They are not learning about new products through ads, but through word of mouth, which is the main benefit of public relations.
Shares Your Great Story
Additionally, consumers are now in control of receiving the content and information they want. And what the public wants to hear is a good story. Good PR is the telling of a good story, and everyone has a compelling story to tell. The trick is discovering what those stories are.
Plus PR is your secret weapon to reach out to buyers at garden centers to introduce your plants and products to these curators of consumption.
Offers Bragging Rights
Gardeners, in particular, love to be the “first in the know” about new plants and products they have discovered. PR gives them the information they need to share their “finds” and brag about them to their neighbors. It truly is keeping up with . . . and surpassing the Jones.
Builds On-line Presence
Then there’s your online reputation. In addition to igniting buzz, public relations helps your potential customers easily find you on the web. Filling the web with magnetic content attracts and pulls people to your information on your website. It’s all part of the marketing strategy to build links, boost your search engine optimization and attract more “spiders” to your site.
Saves You Time & Money
Public relations also saves you time and money. Rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising a product no one has heard of, PR introduces your product, plant or service directly to the gardener or home owner and makes it a “must have”.
The bottom line is PR gives you more bang for your marketing buck, builds your name recognition faster and gets consumers into the stores to ask for you by name sooner.
Suzi, Garden Media Group