Here’s a little exercise for those of you who, like my mother, wonder how I spend my days:
1- Did you know that Marie Saint Pierre created a collection of 10 dresses for Reitmans
that went on sale just before the Christmas holidays? If you answered yes, it was because of our press relations (PR) work. You probably saw, read or heard journalists, fashion commentators or bloggers sharing information about the event. Since no advertising was purchased to promote this mini-collection, you were informed because of our innumerable contacts with journalists and who knows how many hours (a few hundred, at any rate) spent sending press releases, organizing a media event to show the collection, setting up interviews with Marie Saint Pierre, sending dresses to magazines to be photographed, and thousands of little details like making follow-up calls and sending out invitations and photos.
And in case you’re curious, my mother answered yes.
But if this blog entry is the first you’ve heard about Marie Saint Pierre’s collaboration with Reitmans, the good news is that a second collection of 10 spring dresses will go on sale on April 26. I suggest arriving early on the morning of the 26th and making sure that the Reitmans of your choice is on the list posted here:
2- Are you familiar with KÉRASTASE hair products? Again, if you answered yes, chalk it up to media relations: Kérastase’s reputation here has been developed entirely through our services. To date, they have not purchased a single ad. I know because I’ve worked on this account since it came to Canada more than 12 years ago. Kiehl’s, Starbucks and Body Shop, to name a few well-known brands, also rely on PR for visibility and resort to advertising only on rare occasions. Press relations feature prominently in their marketing plan for publicizing their brand and their new products. The next time you flip through a magazine, check out the brands that are mentioned in the articles. They rarely advertise.
Press relations are not a luxury. To publicize a new product or service, nothing is more accessible than traditional PR or PR that targets social media. Although the impact of PR often requires a bit of time and patience before registering on the minds of consumers, it is an accessible, inexpensive form of publicity. Twelve years ago, journalists didn’t flock to our Kérastase events the way they do today. Before the brand became familiar, some journalists remarked that Kérastase sounded more like a disease than a fabulous shampoo. Press relations certainly changed that perception.
If you compare the price tag of press relations to that of an ad campaign, for a fraction of the price (the equivalent of the cost of 2 or 3 pages of advertising in a high-circulation magazine), you can make enough of a splash to attract consumer attention. And very few new brands can afford a big, expensive ad campaign, especially independent brands that are not part of a large group. But these major groups have long realized that PR is a key element in their marketing plan and they know how to maximize their visibility through well-orchestrated PR strategies.
So if you have a new product or a new idea, don’t hesitate to consult PR specialists. They could save you a bundle on your next publicity campaign.