What's Your
PR Merchandising IQ?

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound?  The same is true for all your PR successes.  If your prospect didn't read the magazine the week your product was profiled, he may never know about it.  If your investors didn't attend your last trade show where you were recognized at an awards ceremony as one of the top dogs in the industry... they may never know.  The solution is easy  -- merchandising.  Merchandise all your successes and increase your recognition to those who matter most.
Think of PR as a Product
Many times we think of merchandising as the tool of packaged goods and consumer offerings with point-of-purchase, couponing and the like.  But the essence of merchandising is the promotion of a product or service with the desired result to increase sales.  When you look at PR as your product, you begin to see some of the possibilities of merchandising.  In the case of PR, the desired result is not the "sale of your PR" but rather extending the impact and reach of your PR successes and thereby increasing the value of your PR exponentially.
Case in Point
Movie and book reviews are great examples of merchandising the results of a good PR campaign.  Often times, we are attracted to a movie because of what was said about it rather than what it is about.  And the promoters are sure we get an eyeful of review sound bites in every ad and poster.
Many a good high tech marketer is naturally merchandising the work of their PR effort by highlighting product awards, articles, industry analyst comments and such on their websites.  But again, if you think of PR as a product, you'd do more than promote it on your website.  You'd carry that message directly to key audiences via newsletters, graphics at tradeshows, posters and displays for branch or regional offices, direct mail and sales collateral.
Calling all Marketing and Merchandising Mensas
Okay, so you're ready to check your PR Merchandising IQ.  Take a look at the following statements and answer yes or no.   If you answer yes to all 8 - then you're in the league of mensas.  If you answer yes to only 2 or fewer of the list...well then it's time to revisit how you leverage PR in your marketing mix.

A Quiz to Test Your PR Merchandising IQ

  1. We highlight editorial coverage through our materials, booth graphics and website using only the best quote in the coverage along with a publication logo.  A sound bite is worth a 1,000 words...so why bog down your reader with the whole article?
  2. We promote our industry leadership by issuing news announcements on speaking engagements, standards committee involvement and our company viewpoints.  We issue these announcements over a news wire service and directly to our own contact database.
  3. We promote our media relationships to internal audiences, channel and 3rd party supporters such as technology partners to reaffirm our role as a leader and respected source.
  4. We build relationships with industry analysts and quote them in our materials, and we cite generic industry relevant material from analysts and add our commentary and issue to our key audiences.
  5. We send tip sheets, advisory bulletins and/or newsletters that include our latest press coverage and award successes to a broad mix of customers, employees, prospects, vendors, and investors.
  6. We reprint our press coverage and bylined articles for use as supplemental literature for direct mail packages, leave-behinds and as handouts at
    trade shows.
  7. We promote customer case studies through news releases on our website and for media consumption.
  8. We offer the proceedings from our speaking engagements and insider presentations along with white papers to our key audiences through e-mail updates, newsletters and our website.

    If you would like to learn more about Lages & Associates...

Sharpen your merchandising IQ and you'll see that your reach gets bigger and you'll get more PR miles out of your programs.
Lages & Associates, Inc. -- Public Relations for High Technology, Emerging Market and Software Enterprises

Beverly Lages
Lages & Associates, Inc.
email: beverly@lages.com
phone: 949-453-8080