Saturday, March 29, 2008

Advertising or Public Relations Per Tom Kane

Tom Kane's post, Which is Better: Advertising or Public Relations?, on hits the nail on the head.

I couldn't agree with Tom more when he says, "until a firm has done the basics involving strategic marketing planning, [advertising, public relations,] or both could be a total waste of money."

He is so right.

I regularly encourter law firms who still take an ad hoc approach to their marketing efforts. They advertise in the XYZ magazine supplement because they're getting a "discount" or at least a perceived discount. They hire a consultant or service to "issue a press release" and then don't leverage the value of the news or coverage. They purchase a directory listing upgrade because the sales person said they should. And the list goes on.

The bottom line is that law firms need to approach their communications the same way big businesses have for decades. It's about strategic planning. They need to identify what their trying to accomplish, who they're trying to reach, the messages they want to deliver, the time-frame within which they need to act, the best vehicles for success (advertising, marketing, interactive technologies or public relations) and how they will measure the success of their efforts.

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