|PR? Are you confused? Let us help.|
By Charlie Stroe
Spike Jones – the writer and speaker, not the 1940s musician - recently delivered a Vocus webinar in which he addressed not only people’s lack of interest, but their high level of disbelief in the advertisements themselves. According to Jones, 76% of people believe companies lie in advertisements and 77% trust companies less than they did last year.
Wait a second, back up. That’s quite a negative attitude to advertising. So, why are companies still dedicating enormous budgets to advertising, when it doesn’t seem to be fulfilling its main role: convincing people to buy?
Clearly, the slow and painful death of advertising started in the 80s and was accelerated by the rise of the internet, so the anti-advert trend has been noticeable for a while. This is part of the reason why many organisations often prefer to use other methods to reach their audience.
The first and most obvious alternative is PR – Al and Laura Ries’ documented this in their seminal book The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR.
Social media channels, which allow for a direct and more honest communication, are another solution. Creating and sharing relevant content in order to generate influence and build the organisation’s expertise is another one.
SEO is a more technical approach which also works very well when promoting an organisation. The popularity of these methods are proof that marketing and PR are becoming more important than advertising, when reaching, engaging and converting audiences.
So why is advertising still being thrown at us from all directions, like confetti at a happy couple on their wedding day? Instead of allocating advertising budgets, perhaps organisations should try offering their audiences what they really want.
And what do people want from companies and organisations?
• Authentic engagement, which goes beyond buying and selling techniques
• Organisations that listen to customer needs and requirements
• Expertise in the industry and shareable content
• A sense of confidence in the organisation
• A fun, friendly and honest company
At least, that’s what I’d like from them instead of hours on end of mediocre advertising that really grind my gears. What do you want?