How’s that for a question? It’s not actually one that we get asked very much, often people don’t like saying it out loud. But you can bet your life that they’re thinking it.

The answer isn’t a simple yes or no – and this would be the end of the blog if it was. Fair warning, this piece offers some opposing thoughts in places because there’s not enough time to go over every nuance. But we know you’re smart and that you understand that.

It’s also worth noting that you’d probably get different answers to the question ‘is PR lead generating’ depending on who you talk to and how badly they want to sell you their particular product or service. In true Team Rev style, we thought it would be useful to give you our two pennies worth. And it’s not because we want you to work with us, smashing though that would be. It’s because we’ve made a living out of empowering franchisors and franchisees with the knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions. Decisions about what’s best for their business and how to make the most out of any activity they undertake. Knowledge is power, right?

PR vs Marketing

It actually helps to go right back to basics and have a quick look at the difference between PR & Marketing.

 In a nutshell, and whilst waving a massive brush of generalisation about the place, marketing is you shouting about how good you are – whether you’re a franchisor talking about your concept or a franchisee talking about your end product. Banging your own drum, tooting your own horn etc. etc. Think flyers, leaflets, social media ads, wrapped vehicles, exhibition stands, print ads… basically, if you paid for it and you’re talking about how good you are, that’s your marketing. The aim of this type of activity is to get people to pick up the phone, send an email, fill out a form or visit a website in order to generate leads for you to turn into sales.

PR activities are, for the most part, designed to get other people talking about how great your brand is or being invited by a trusted third party to talk about a topic that you’re an expert on for the benefit of others. Think media placements, influencer partnerships, testimonials and recommendations as well as things like radio interviews and keynote speaking engagements. It’s a subtle but incredibly powerful difference. Third party validation of your products or services – and especially of your franchise concept – can be the difference between an engaged prospect and Casper the ghost.

An apology

The headline of the previous section was clickbait. It’s not a competition – something else that a lot of business owners get confused about when it comes to these two disciplines. Neither works as well in isolation as well as the two combined.

When they think about ‘PR’ what most people are actually imagining is what we here at Rev PR refer to as media relations. Pitching newsworthy stories to journalists and other media contacts to secure coverage in target publications. In our book, media relations activities aren’t designed to be lead generating. What they do very well is build profile, trust and credibility for you with your target audience. But really, who is going to buy from you if they don’t know, like or trust you? (We did warn you about the opposing thoughts).

TLDR?

In general, your advertising and direct marketing is what generates your leads. Your PR activities, when executed well and utilised fully, are what improves your conversion rate because they help people to know, like and trust you.

So, perhaps the question should be – am I doing enough PR to make sure my lead generation isn’t in vain?

We regularly share PR advice and posts like this to help you make the most of your PR activity. To make sure you don’t miss out, follow us on social media: LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. And, if this has piqued your interest and you fancy a chat about this in more detail then get in touch – we absolutely LOVE chatting about this kind of thing. Email lucy@revpr.co.uk or call 07921 572554.