Ad Age, Paid Media, PR and Earned Media

Kudos to the Council of Public Relations Firms for using paid media to promote a profession that has until recently been based on earning media for organizations.

As I tell many clients, advertising can be a very effective pr tactic.  Especially if you are trying to guarantee that your message is delivered as intended.  Crisis situations, leadership building through op-ed ads, etc.

One of the challenges that our profession faces is getting reporters to write pleasant things about the true nature of public relations.  Most times, the “s” or “f” or ”p” word is used to describe the public relations profession.  Thankfully, today we also have more direct channels via social networks to help us communicate our value beyond media relations.

But, what I really like about the Council’s approach in the October 26 paid supplement in Advertising Age is the tone of the articles.  No pleading, no convincing, no dreary academic language that obscures the point:  Brand development, marketing and public relations are blending.

Thanks for advocating for our profession by taking the road less traveled — traditional advertising.  I’m pretty certain that you’ll see a return on this investment.  The only criticism here is that I cannot link to the actual article — or in this case the ad — since Ad Age doesn’t show it on their home page.  The next best thing for the Council to do would be to have a link on its site.   It’s not too late.

What do you tell “PR101” students today?

As I look over my past presentation as I prepare to talk with a local college class today, I have to make some major revisions.  It’s kind of nice to see predictions come true.  Amazing what a year or two will do.

While the Cutlip definition of public relations still holds up, and what is under the public relations umbrella is still relevant, a focus on brand and brand development rises to the top of the list.

A public relations professional’s job today is to help an organization first realize what is true and authentic to its brand, and second, ensure that the organization is aligned internally and externally to deliver the proper brand experience, and third, communicate or deliver the brand message using the best channels.

Which brings me to my final point:  what is the best channel today?  More and more, it is not through earned media.  While media relations will continue to be a valuable tactic for public relations pros to spread company news, it’s not the best channel to reach an organization’s diverse stakeholder base especially if your goal is to communicate organizational values and long-term goals.

Of course, the best solution is an integrated approach that blends direct communication with paid and earned media.  And, at the heart of direct communication is social networking and the opportunities it offers for us to listen, learn and interact as we “establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships between our client organizations and the publics on whom our/their success and failure depends.”

What We Are All About

We take a comprehensive view on public relations. Working with Mason Onofrio Public Relations, you’ll get an experienced team that is focused on objectives and results, and backed by Mason, Inc., a full-service communications agency. Whether you tap into our integrated communications expertise or seek a strategic public relations program, or simply need publicity for a new product you’ll gain a focused partner that is trained to see beyond the tactical.

Mason Onofrio serves a range of clients, assisting them with consumer and business-to-business communications – from strategic planning to media relations programs through product publicity and analyst relations.

Our team understands the power of creativity and the value of building long-term relationships with an organization key publics and stakeholders.

We believe that a well executed public relations program:

* Is linked to an organization’s business objectives.
* Communicates the heart and soul of an organization.
* Protects the brand and enhances its reputation.
* Motivates behavior.
* Helps provide third party endorsement and extends the reach of other communications activities.
* Works as part of the integrated marketing mix when appropriate.
* Paves the way for sales.