Why Choose Publicists Over Advertising?

I almost failed the only economics course I took in college, so excuse if I’m missing something here. But can someone explain something to me?

There are dozens of restaurants in Dallas who pay publicists to pepper me (and other journalists) with press releases. Many of these same restaurants cry poor when our lovely marketing consultants call them about advertising.

So you could pay a publicist, who may or may not secure you editorial coverage, depending on my needs and moods. Or you could buy an ad, which guarantees your message will be in the newspaper. Option B seems like the smarter expense, in my humble opinion. So why would a restaurant choose Option A?

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5 thoughts on “Why Choose Publicists Over Advertising?

  • June 7, 2012 at 8:22 am

    They could be paying the publicist for more services than just newspaper/mag exposure; branding, decor, signage, etc.

    That said; why don’t you institute Option C. Stop taking any notes or stories from publicists, period. Anytime you get approached in one of these situations just reach out to the establishment directly and let them know you are not their free mouthpiece, but would love to feature an ad or write an actual story if they have anything worth while to the local masses. Take your publicists vs ad argument to the source.

  • June 7, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Simply put, marketing is more than just advertising. Word-of-mouth and “Buzz” have a greater influence on consumer behavior than print ads. Furthermore, a publicist’s efforts can be measured by a date in time (the “opening” or “event”) whereby attendance determines how successful the publicist’s efforts were. I’ve had your mktg consultants contact me about print ads. It’s a sales pitch to sell print ad (and I’m assuming they get a %). Maybe they should consider a different approach whereby they add value by partnering with a publicist and the publicist gives them 15min of time. A lot of small, & mid-size businesses could benefit from this approach. You refer a possible client to the publicist and they, in turn, refer print ads as a package deal to you. If you are both doing your job correctly, the business will benefit and return for more services.

  • June 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Option C is a rocky road. People have what newspapers need….information & story leads. Burn those bridges and voice mails won’t be returned. The public already doesn’t trust journalists as it is. I, personally, have been interviewed knowing they didn’t want the facts, but already had a pre-determined (negative) article planned and were just looking to justify their story angle. I gave them nothing but nice comments.

  • June 7, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Just because they are not purchasing advertising in PCP, that doesn’t mean they’re not advertising at all. It could just mean that their advertising budget has been spent. Advertising & PR are just two components of a well-rounded marketing plan.

  • June 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Perhaps the publicist costs are less than the newspaper ads.


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