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How much does a PR campaign cost?

How much does a PR campaign cost?

How much does a PR campaign cost?

This week we’re talking about PR campaign costs, expensive violin strings, and how much of your budget you should think about investing in a PR campaign.

How much does a PR campaign cost?

This is a question many have asked and will continue to ponder, but nobody will ever be able to answer succinctly.

The reason? There are too many variables.

We tried to refrain from using the classic idiom ‘how long is a piece of string’, but this really is a situation where you could spend £1000 or £100k, and anything in between.

When we asked our Managing Director, Lorraine Emmett, if it was fair to compare string and PR campaign costs, she agreed:

“It is very much like a piece of string. You can get all types of string. You can pick it up free second hand at an allotment or pay $20m at auction for a Duport Stradivarius violin string.”

This may not appear to be helpful advice at first, but Lorraine further explained that people will always want to know an overall basic cost and will continue to ask how much a PR campaign will cost.

The key for people asking this question is to consider what they want to use their string for, how important it is, and how much of their budget they are willing to invest in the string to meet their needs.

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How much should I spend on PR campaigns? 

Whether you are considering running a PR campaign in-house or looking for a PR agency to help, asking how much you should spend on PR campaigns is the wrong question to be asking.

Ask yourself, what could effective PR do for my business? What problems could it solve? How could it help me achieve my key business objectives?

To help answer these questions, why not look at what your competitors are doing. Are any of them doing PR? Are they successful?

Once you understand what you want to achieve with a PR campaign, the question shouldn’t be how much money to spend on it. Instead, look at your budget and work out how much of it you think would be worth investing.

 

“It is very much like a piece of string. You can get all types of string. You can pick it up free second hand at an allotment or pay $20m at auction for a Duport Stradivarius violin string.”

– Lorraine Emmett

PR agency costs

Hiring a PR agency to launch tactical and strategic PR campaigns doesn’t necessarily mean spending more on PR, or less for that matter. You could spend the same amount on an in-house campaign as you would with an agency. The decision comes down to putting your money where there is the most experience and expertise so that you’re more likely to see a return on your investment.

That’s why many business owners will turn to a PR agency, in some cases saving money as a PR agency will have set costs and establish a plan early on, including how the budget will be utilised.

You’re paying for experience, connections, and expertise when you hire a PR agency, but this also gives you a greater chance of launching successful PR campaigns. If in-house campaigns are having limited success, despite you spending a fair amount of your budget on them, external expertise may be what you need.

One area in-house teams (which realistically usually comes down to the marketing department) often neglect is the groundwork before PR delivery is attempted. When the communication strategy and campaign planning isn’t undertaken properly, a scattered or ad-hoc attempt at PR results – which is most likely to be ineffective.

b2b pr campaign planning leads to business growth upwards arrow

One EC-PR client that recognises the importance of this strategic groundwork and how an agency can add value is Dave Kelly, Managing Director at 2i after we developed a communication strategy for the business

 

“You have offered us enormous value in getting us to this stage. When I think back to the lack of focus and structure that our message had originally to where we are today, for both our clients and our staff, it’s been a game-changer for us and massive thanks to you for that.”

– Dave Kelly, Managing Director, 2i

 

This solid groundwork proved to be a valuable base from which 2i could then build their reputation and external communications.

Working with a PR agency gives you the choice when it comes to gaining expertise in specific areas – for example, your businesses may be equipped to develop your communication strategy and PR planning, but you need help with delivery. Others may be fine with delivery but struggle with the preparation work.

Investing money in an agency to pick up these problem areas for you makes more sense.

Many agencies will have a minimum threshold when it comes to the budget and will not accept clients with a budget they feel won’t deliver a good return.

At EC-PR, we have a modular package approach, designed to let you take as little or as much advantage of our expertise as needed.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our comprehensive guide: B2B PR Campaign Planning for indispensible templates, examples and tools.

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READ this Tech PR case study: How 2i found its voice – 18 Benefits from a communication strategy

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What Does A PR Campaign Consist Of?

What Does A PR Campaign Consist Of?

What Does A PR Campaign Consist Of?

Planning on writing a couple of articles, whizzing them off to an industry magazine and thinking your PR campaign is complete? 

Mention PR to the uninitiated and they may just associate the word with news articles and press interviews, but there is a little bit more to it than that.

Read on to discover what a great B2B PR campaign should consist of and how you can make your campaigns stand out from the crowd.

Why Run A PR Campaign?

You could run a PR campaign for several reasons – to achieve a general business goal, launch a new product or service, raise brand awareness, revive older products, or show off your new brand. The possibilities are wide and varied but there should always be a purpose.

All the reasons to run a campaign will likely have the overarching goal of engaging more customers with your business. From brand awareness to thought leadership – the underlying goal is to attract clients and grow your business.

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The PR Planning Process

What activities should you undertake as part of the campaign planning process?

Without a doubt, the most important part of your PR campaign is the planning, or preparation. A thoroughly researched and well-planned PR campaign is a successful campaign. For best success, these are the components each campaign plan should include:

The customer journey – how do your customers reach you? You need to understand the journey your customers go through before they are ready to buy from you. Depending on what stage they are at in their journey, customers will consume different types of content or respond to different types of calls to action.

A marketing asset audit – once you have completed your customer journey, you need to establish where you are missing content, where there are gaps in the journey, or where processes can be improved. This missing content represents opportunities to influence and guide your customers towards your brand.  Remember – you want to make it as easy as possible for people to make informed decisions about you, or your products and services.

A target persona map – target persona maps help you delve even deeper into the mind of your customer and understand what turns them on (and off!), how and where they are likely to encounter your messaging and what the triggers would be for them picking up the phone or making an order.

The plan – by now you should have a deeper understanding of what your customer journey looks like, what makes them buy, where they ‘hang out’ and what work needs to be done at your end to improve any touchpoints. Now it’s time to plan what your live campaign will look like! This will involve choosing which media channels you will use, what activities you will carry out, key milestones, and who is responsible for what.

The media environment – once you have your persona front and centre of your plans, you need to consider and benchmark the competitive media environment. What are the prevailing and emerging BIG issues you need to have a position on; what are your competitors saying on these issues, which topics do you have a unique point of view on that will advance or challenge the debate and how will you evidence that point of view.

The content – now comes the fun part! Create a content calendar and work out what media needs to be developed, what the format will be, and how it will be distributed. A content calendar is not a campaign in its own right – but it can be used to support the campaign narrative.

Planning A PR Campaign

Now you’re familiar with PR campaign planning, are you ready to start? Your essential guide to executing a successful B2B PR campaign plan contains everything you need to get going.

What Does A PR Campaign Consist Of?

Your PR campaign may contain many different activities and channels and, depending on where your target customer goes for information, you will need to consider a mix of paid, earned, owned, and shared media.

Paid media – choosing a paid media channel will depend on your target market but two commonly used tools are paid social media adverts (Facebook ads, for example), and Google Adwords (Pay Per Click/PPC)

Earned media – is what others are saying about you. You pitch your business or content to bloggers, influencers, websites, and industry publications in a way that makes you worthy of talking about.

Owned media – the content you created, own, and publish on your own channels. For example, a blog you publish on your website. Or a podcast you promote via Facebook.  

Shared media – shared media is basically social media. Technically, your content may still be owned but it will be reposted, adapted, and even repurposed by others. The trick is staying on top of this and how others are engaging with your business and content.

b2b pr campaign planning leads to business growth upwards arrow

Who Is Responsible for Your PR Campaign?

PR campaigns can be assembled by either an in-house team, overseen by a marketing manager or director or undertaken by an external specialist agency.

If all the above sounds like a lot of work…yes, it is but if the process is followed correctly, your margin of error is vastly reduced, and the likelihood of success is increased. That doesn’t mean it will be easy though.

For that reason, you may choose to engage a PR agency. The professional experience, advice, and practical help a PR company can bring to your campaigns will be unrivalled. It’s also worth looking for a PR agency with experience in your sector or at least specialising in B2B PR activities.

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our comprehensive guide: B2B PR Campaign Planning for all the templates, examples and tools mentioned in this article.

READ this Tech PR case study: How 2i found its voice – 18 Benefits from a communication strategy

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

PR Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including valuable example PR campaigns, templates and tools.

Download

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How Can A PR Campaign Help My Business?

How Can A PR Campaign Help My Business?

How Can A PR Campaign Help My Business?

From recruitment to raising brand awareness – a great PR campaign can help your business in many ways. In the B2B world, PR is a fundamental part of your overall marketing strategy and shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to allocating your budget.

Here are just some of the ways a PR campaign can be beneficial to your business.

Boosting Sales & Raising Brand Awareness With A PR Campaign

We get it; it can be hard deciding where to put your marketing spend when it comes to advertising your business, products, or services. Especially in the B2B sector where you are spoilt for choice when it comes to paid advertisement channels.

What method is going to be the most effective way to make your target audience aware of you and what you offer?

Well, a cost-effective way to achieve that is with a good PR campaign.

b2b pr campaign planning leads to business growth upwards arrow

A thoughtful PR campaign can attract new customers simply because your company is brought to their attention in a positive light. The fact that your brand is referenced in an editorial in a respected industry publication lends credibility to your company amongst your target audience. This is because subconsciously, the reader knows that editorial has been vetted and selected by an editor for inclusion in their publication.  Effectively, it has been given the Editor’s stamp of approval.  When your business is mentioned positively and catches people’s eye for the right reason, your credibility instantly rises.

Brand credibility can sometimes be the one deciding factor when customers choose who they want to buy from – this is especially true in niche sectors, where companies are providing similar products or services. When it comes down to making a final buying decision, the company with the most credible reputation is going to win hands down, every time.

After all – you wouldn’t be everywhere if you didn’t have a great company or service, right?

Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.

– Richard Branson.

So, in addition to boosting your reputation and attracting new clients, what else can a good PR campaign do for your business?

Other Ways PR Can Help Your Business

PR can positively affect areas of your business other than just your bottom line. Each PR campaign can be carefully tailored for a different outcome, but a general brand PR campaign can entice more than just customers.

For example, newish brands and start-ups can attract attention from potential investors by making their business appear larger than it is and the perception of uber relevance. You know what they say about faking it until you make it!  

More established businesses can also use PR strategically when they’re seeking new partnerships or considering selling.

b2b pr campaign planning leads to business growth upwards arrow

A PR campaign can also attract people to your business, not as customers but because they want to work for you. Although recruitment marketing is a separate area, general PR is also excellent for recruitment as more people are exposed to your brand, they get to know what you’re about and again, based on your credibility, will see you as a good employer.

This can be especially useful when you’re trying to recruit industry experts and specialists – being the most credible business in your sector will attract top-level talent.

Finally, another way a PR campaign can help your business is by helping repair your reputation.

Yes, we’re down to the topic not many businesses like to talk about or face but ignoring a reputational issue does not make it go away. Tackling a bad reputation can take time and you must be certain that the root issue has been resolved but a good PR campaign can go a long way towards making amends.

Getting Started With A PR Campaign

Now you’re familiar with some of the benefits a good PR campaign can have, are you ready to start? Your essential guide to executing a successful B2B PR campaign plan contains everything you need to get going.

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our comprehensive guide: B2B PR Campaign Planning for all the templates, examples and tools mentioned in this article.

READ this Tech PR case study: How 2i found its voice – 18 Benefits from a communication strategy

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

PR Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including valuable example PR campaigns, templates and tools.

Download

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Your 8-Step Communication Strategy

8-Step Communication strategy guide

A comprehensive guide to delivering your business goals using intelligent and relevant messaging.

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Our insights

How To Grow Brand Awareness In 2021

How To Grow Brand Awareness In 2021

How To Grow Brand Awareness In 2021

One way to grow brand awareness in 2021 will be to produce quality content and put your business, or a person within the business out there as thought leaders in your industry. Producing thought leadership content garners trust, recognition, and secures your reputation – all important elements of brand awareness.

You won’t be recognised for your views overnight, but you can make a start today.

Growing Brand Awareness with Thought Leadership?

Having a good content strategy and producing high-quality content is essential for any business wanting to make an impact, especially in the B2B sector where purchases are rarely impulsive or ‘a one-off’. In this sector, buyers will form most of their buying decision based on the content you send out into the world.

This can be on your website or via social media channels, relevant industry websites, or industry publications. Even back in 2016, more than 50% of B2B buyers relied on content when making buying decisions. This has continued to grow and will still be important in 2021.

But, with so many businesses now producing content, and lots of different voices in your industry, how do you set yourself apart from the competition whilst increasing awareness of your brand?

Thought leadership is one way to achieve this.

In the same Demand Gen study quoted above, 96% of their survey respondents wanted to see more content from industry thought leaders.

That is your prospective customers wanting your expertise, thoughts, and opinions. So, what are you waiting for?

 

The acid test of any thought leadership campaign is that it needs to be relevant to the target audience; distinctive from what the competition are saying, and demonstrably true. Relevance comes from demonstrating you understand your audience – their business context and their challenges.

– Simon Hayhurst, Coleman Parkes Research

By positioning either yourself or someone within your business as a thought leader you can meet the objectives of both your content marketing and brand awareness strategies.

With a reputation secured as the ‘go-to’ people for knowledge in your industry, more prospective customers will become aware of your brand, what you stand for, and why your knowledge is the most credible.

Positioning Yourself as an Industry Thought Leader

Before you position yourself, or someone in your business as a thought leader, some consideration should be put into choosing the best person for the job.

Who has a burning passion for what your company does? Remember, this might not necessarily be the most experienced person. Can you find somebody that has a good balance between loving what you do, and the knowledge and goods to back it up? Oh, and the ability to articulate their thoughts on what you do?

brand awareness 2021 and thought leadership grpahic

For many businesses, this should be the MD or CEO, but could also be the head of sales, the marketing director, or a salesperson.

Whoever it is, this person must be able to offer fresh insight and perspectives on what you do and your industry.

An important reminder though; thought leadership cannot be accompanied by a hard sell. The aim is to raise awareness, educate and provoke a response.

The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Brand Awareness

Thought leadership will be particularly important in 2021 as it’s a strong way of demonstrating you understand your customers, your industry and how you’re different from competitors.

Today, every business can easily produce content and get it in front of their target audience – the difference is to make what you’re saying, count.

Inside the ultimate guide to increasing brand awareness, thought leadership is one of the core elements we recommend you add to your brand awareness strategy. Download the guide now for further insights and tips on increasing your brand awareness in 2021.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our ultimate guide to B2B PR campaign planning

READ this blog: can brand awareness generate measurable ROI?

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

The Definitive Media Lens Guide

Find your business's maximum sphere of influence and equip yourself with the tools to reach it.

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The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Press Release 2021 pdf

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Revised for 2021

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

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Is Brand Recognition Different To Brand Awareness?

Is Brand Recognition Different To Brand Awareness?

Is Brand Recognition Different To Brand Awareness?

So far, we’ve dedicated January to all things brand awareness, covering the basics in our blog posts, and releasing the awesome, if we don’t say so ourselves, ultimate guide to increasing brand awareness.

Now it’s time to dive in a little deeper and get to the more complicated elements of your brand strategy. We’re starting by separating out a few terms that often get misused or mixed up when talking about brand awareness.

We’re talking brand awareness versus brand recognition; two terms we often see used interchangeably but shouldn’t be.

What is brand awareness?

We already wrote an article explaining brand awareness but here is a brief recap.

Brand awareness is the level to which people in your target market are familiar with your brand. Can people identify you amongst your competitors and remember key elements of your brand?

Can customers remember why you’re so well-known and what makes you so brilliant? When they have a particular need or problem, are you the first business they think of?

This is all brand awareness.

Increasing brand awareness is taking action to ensure as many people as possible get to know everything about your company, and products or services.

Brand awareness eventually turns people into customers as they become familiar with your values and what problems you can solve for them. Brand awareness also encourages repeat business and turns customers into advocates.

pink fishing nets

 Brand awareness eventually turns people into customers as they become familiar with your values and what problems you can solve for them. Brand awareness also encourages repeat business and turns customers into advocates.

What is brand recognition?

Brand recognition is one aspect of brand awareness and shouldn’t be used interchangeably. It’s an important element of brand awareness but is a much simpler concept, brand recognition is how recognisable your brand is.

The most obvious brand recognition elements are your company name and logo – important visual markers when it comes to recognising your brand. Brand recognition can also include your tone of voice, company colours, even a personality.

Brand recognition is great because it’s the shiny stuff that catches people’s attention.

 

“The first lesson of branding: memorability. It’s very difficult buying something you can’t remember.”

– John Hegarty

The more recognisable elements your brand has, the more likely it is to be remembered.

We’re sure you’ve played one of those quizzes before where you must guess the company name just by seeing a snippet of their logo, hearing a catchphrase, or seeing their brand colours?

Those types of quiz demonstrate how powerful brand recognition can be and why great branding is vital to your business.

Brand recognition vs brand awareness

Hopefully, the above demonstrates the key differences between brand awareness and recognition but this isn’t a ‘take one or the other situation’.

Arguably, brand awareness does play a larger role in your brand strategy because it makes your customers familiar with you on a deeper level than brand recognition. If recognition is the shiny thing that grabs attention, then awareness creates a lasting familiarity that eventually leads to sales, loyalty, and customers championing your brand.

But on the other hand, have you ever heard of a mega-successful company where customers don’t know the name of the business, recognise the logo, or know one detail about the brand? Not really!

In summary, Brand recognition needs to work alongside awareness to give a well-rounded picture of your company!

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our definitive media lens guide to help you maxmise your sphere of influence

READ this blog: what is branding and why is it a key component of your PR strategy?

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

The Definitive Media Lens Guide

Find your business's maximum sphere of influence and equip yourself with the tools to reach it.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Press Release 2021 pdf

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Revised for 2021

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

Download

Can brand awareness generate measurable ROI?

Can brand awareness generate measurable ROI?

Can brand awareness generate measurable ROI?

“Can brand awareness generate measurable ROI?”, is a reasonable question for any sensible business owner or marketer to ask; no business can afford to invest money on activities that don’t have quantifiable results.

Branding and brand awareness can be notoriously tricky to measure, especially when you’re looking at it in a vacuum. Although brand awareness sits right at the top of your sales and marketing funnel, it isn’t a clear-cut acquisition channel, more of an assistant to other acquisition methods.

However, there are a few key indicators of brand awareness you can measure – let’s have a look.

Can brand awareness generate a measurable ROI?

Brand awareness is needed – how would you ever make any sales if nobody has heard of your company? But, viewing it as a direct way to boost sales is perhaps the wrong way to frame brand awareness and instead, brand awareness should be viewed as an assist to sales.

For example, if you were to exhibit your company at a trade show, it would be fairly easy to work out the ROI of that exhibition, helping you decide if you want to invest money in this channel again.

Brand awareness isn’t so simple as it infiltrates every area of sales. Going back to the trade show example – a potential customer may look for your stand because they were already aware of your brand, once meeting you they may decide to buy. This may be more difficult to measure but brand awareness certainly played a part in that sale.

This example shows how brand awareness helps at every part of your sales funnel; the same example can be applied to an inbound phone call or email.

In summary, brand awareness will not be a big direct win and is more difficult to measure but is certainly an important aspect of your overall sales and marketing strategy.

pink fishing nets

Why measure brand awareness?

Last week on our blog, we explained what brand awareness is and we have also put together the ultimate guide to increasing brand awareness – we think raising brand awareness is important – even for B2B companies who may not have traditionally given much thought to brand awareness. 

89% of B2B marketers say brand awareness is their most important goal, ahead of sales or lead generation – Content Marketing Institute

Brand awareness increases familiarity in your audience and with familiarity comes trust – an important factor for many B2B companies, especially those providing services.

Have we convinced you yet how important brand awareness is?

If increasing brand awareness is an important part of your sales and marketing strategy, then it needs to be measured just like any other marketing activity.

How can brand awareness be measured?

One of the easiest ways to measure brand awareness is to simply ask your customers more questions.

Don’t underestimate the power of a good survey.

Surveying customers and potential customers needn’t be a onetime activity or a big deal either – just ask new customers where they heard of your company or product when they get in touch. Keep a record of answers so that you can evaluate which of your brand awareness campaigns are taking effect.

This is one of the more ‘low tech’ options when it comes to measuring brand awareness but it’s highly effective as you’re getting the information you need straight from the source.

A broader survey could involve asking a random selection of people who aren’t customers if they are aware of your company or products. Information gathered can be used to inform future campaigns and maybe look at how you are trying to approach your target audience.

pink fishing nets

Your website and analytical tools can also be used to measure brand awareness – one super easy metric to check is the number of hits your website receives via searching for your company name or any unique brand terms. You can use Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Trends, and Search Console to track this.

If customers are searching your name, the name of company-specific products, or services then they’re already familiar with you. Capture this information to gauge how brand awareness campaigns are working.

Social media is also a powerful tool when it comes to measuring brand awareness. How much your brand is mentioned on social is a good indicator of levels of brand awareness and can be used to track any changes.

Key metrics to take note of are the number of brand mentions, engagement, and reach. Tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social are useful tools here.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our ultimate guide to B2B PR campaign planning

READ this blog: what is branding and why is it a key component of your PR strategy?

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

The Definitive Media Lens Guide

Find your business's maximum sphere of influence and equip yourself with the tools to reach it.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Press Release 2021 pdf

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Revised for 2021

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

Download