There hasn’t seemed to have been much positive economic news for quite a while. Wall Street seems to do fine no matter how much of the rest of the country is suffering, but it’s the rest of the country that matters when it comes to growing the economy. Wall Street is more akin to Vegas than Main Street and you have a better chance in Vegas unless you’re one of the chosen.

Still its small business that generates the ideas, the products, the services that make our economy grow. But how can a business grow at a time when marketing and promotional budgets are being slashed? Right now, when every penny needs to be accounted for, unless you’re in politics or Wall Street, it’s more important than ever to reach your target market, to build a bridge between you and your customers. Advertising is expensive, social media and online marketing is extremely important, but unless you have a real handle on exactly what you’re doing, you can end up spending an awful lot of time and money and end up with nothing but unqualified friends or followers.
PR is a relatively inexpensive approach that’s tried and true. Unlike advertising which is paid for and appears clearly in the advertising section of a magazine or newspaper, media relations lands you in the news or featured pages of a magazine, or newspaper. On radio or TV, your story likewise is presented as a news story. If you are interviewed you’re presented as an expert in your field. The credibility and validation that comes with such coverage is remarkable.

That is not to say that advertising is unimportant. If you sell tires and you’re having a buy three get one free sale, advertising can be a perfect medium. The biggest downside to advertising is that everyone knows that the ads or commercials have been paid for. It can be a great way to get a message out there, but it ranks pretty low when it comes to building credibility for a business or brand. Think about it, if you see a commercial for a product on TV, or see a news segment on that same product, which approach is going to most likely gain your interest. It’s not necessarily an either or, but more a knowing when and how to use the various marketing techniques.

If you’re a professional such as a physician or an attorney, public relations is your best bet. Likewise if you’re a fashion designer, or jeweler or beauty expert, your best bet is to launch a targeted PR campaign. Needless to say if you’re a filmmaker or musician, launching an effective media campaign to create a buzz is imperative.

The fees that are involved with launching a campaign and garnering PR coverage are the fees that you pay to a public relations firm or PR consultant. PR is not a fire sale, so it does take some time. To expect to reap the benefits in a month is unrealistic, but a firm that understands you and your story, can gain you the type of media coverage that can build your business and establish your brand.

So even though economic times continue to be tough, with some creativity, ingenuity, determination and a (comparably) modest investment, you can launch a PR campaign that can reach your customers, sell your products, grow your service and build your business. While those around you are trying to figure out what to do, or are looking at Washington or Wall Street for answers, you can take your business matters in your own hands – and soar!

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011

Author's Bio: 

Anthony Mora began his media career as a freelance journalist for such publications as Us, Rolling Stone and other local and national publications. He served as editor-in-chief of two Los Angeles-based entertainment and lifestyle-oriented publications, and co-founded Phillips & Mora Entertainment, a public relations and personal management company, which ventured into video and film production. In 1990, Anthony formed Anthony Mora Communications, Inc. a Los Angeles-based media relations company that specializes in media placement, image development, and media training. AMC Inc. has placed clients in: Time, Newsweek, 60 Minutes, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and other local, national, and international media outlets. Anthony has been featured in: USA Today, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The BBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fox News, MSNBC, and other media. He has written three books.