Why is Product Publicity so Misunderstood?

This is a complicated question.  As a society, we value expensive things.  If a car costs a lot of money, we assume it is better than one that is cheaper.  The same holds true for clothing.  A full-page, full-color advertisement is very expensive, therefore it must be better than free publicity.  Wrong!

 

First of all, let me state emphatically that I support advertising and hope that all large corporations continue buying it.  However, to help my smaller clients gain market share and compete with the big guys, I will continue showing them how valuable publicity is.  It is more valuable than advertising because it is news and editorial information.  As was written in Advertising Age Magazine, “A message sanctified by third-party editors in the editorial or non-paid section of the media has more persuasiveness and believability than advertising, where the sponsor of the message is identified.”

 

Product publicity is misunderstood because it is free.  Keep in mind, the best things in life are free!  Advertising agencies don’t make money preparing news releases; it is a nuisance for them.  They want to sell ads and create colorful, award-winning collateral materials.  And advertising sales representatives make money selling ads.  What they do, however, is use product publicity as an inducement.  “Place and ad with me and I’ll give you a freebie,” is not an unusual sales tactic.  I’m not suggesting it is a bad approach, only that it reinforces the idea that publicity is free and a fringe marketing function.

 

I believe publicity is the most cost-effective marketing tool in any marketing toolbox.  And more agencies don’t do it because they don’t know how to make money doing it.  It isn’t their core business and they don’t find it creatively challenging.  At Venmark International, publicity is all we do.  We find it incredibly challenging and rewarding.

 

When I arrive at my office and see our clients’ products featured on leading websites and then see the magazines on the corner of my desk featuring our clients; especially when they are on the front cover, I get very excited!  Nowadays, it is an additional thrill to see our clients getting top organic positioning on the search engines.

 

Venmark International makes small companies look big at a fraction of the cost of advertising; there should be no misunderstanding why that’s fun!

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Steve Stroum

Steve Stroum

Steven M. Stroum, founder and president of Venmark International is a seasoned publicist, marketer, and entrepreneur who has been featured in INC Magazine, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, Industrial Marketing, OMNI Magazine, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, The Middlesex News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other media outlets. He has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, addressed many business and civic groups, and been a guest lecturer at Boston College, Babson College, MIT, and his alma mater Northeastern University.

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