When budgeting for a company’s growth, public relations can often fall by the wayside. Today’s culture dictates swathes of money should be thrown vaguely at digital marketing, letting social media algorithms decide the future of your business. Public relations (PR) becomes an afterthought, passively considered as a company’s development rolls by without any meaningful exposure in the press.
Public relations should not only be included and budgeted somewhere in your business plan. It should be at the top of your priority list, especially for growth. It’s true; marketing gets your name out there. But this is the age of oversaturation, where anybody with enough cash can litter their brand on Facebook. That means all the money you put into digital marketing could be meaningless because your audience doesn’t trust you. That’s where a PR budget comes in: building trust before advertising your brand.
How much should I start with?
The beauty of PR is its financial flexibility. Compared to marketing, where vast cash injections are often needed purely to be a blip on your audience’s radar, the barrier to entry is low.
Don’t misinterpret; if you know exactly what you want from a PR strategy and have the cash to back it up, go ahead and invest anywhere up to $100,000. But as little as $2,000 can be enough for an introductory package from a forward-thinking agency.
Unless you’re a PR veteran, testing the waters should be critical to your PR strategy and budget. After investing in an initial test run, you can then tailor and refine your goals to ensure you are getting the best possible results for your money. The chances are that the threshold for success will be significantly lower in PR compared to marketing.
Invest in new PR, not old PR
There’s a division widening in the PR industry right now. You may hold traditional perceptions of old agents in smoky back rooms persistently calling The New York Times on your behalf to no avail. But that’s not where your hard-earned money is best spent in 2022.
The fact of the matter is these outdated agencies are part of the old generation. Just a decade or two ago, you may have been right to put PR lower on your priority list. The agencies of the past would take between a $2-5,000 a month agent fee with no guaranteed results whatsoever. You would have been merely paying for the chance to receive some coverage in the press.
Today, we do things differently. New agencies, such as Two Comma PR, offer packages and bundles at set prices with press guaranteed. That $2k a month you would’ve spent on a fruitless old PR agency can now be invested in a fully-fledged strategy with visible results.
Think of it like getting on an airplane. Several years ago, you may have been able to buy a ticket as you board an aircraft. The only problem is you’d have no idea where you were going. Now, you can buy a flight ticket with as much convenience as a take-out, and you know exactly what your destination will be. That’s the difference between old and new PR.
Ultimately, your budget should account for PR, whatever your business. It’s not a tedious chore but a valuable benefit of the affordable entry point of modern public relations. A small investment can help you determine what’s best for your business. Whether it leads to an industry-disrupting strategy down the line is up to you.