The start of a new year is always a great time to think about the future and the past.  

As I was reflecting on 2019, and even further back, my mind drifted to when I first moved to Atlanta in the mid 1990s.  At the time, I drove a red Miata sports car. (Feel free to ask me how I ended up driving a Miata.)  Being single at the time, the Miata was a perfectly suitable car.  

One of my fondest memories was taking that little car to Charleston, S.C., for a weekend trip.  A gallon of gas back then was about $1. I filled up at a gas station right near my house. Four hours later I arrived in Charleston, not stopping to fill up once. Amazing!

My little Miata from the 1990s, like this one here, could stretch my limited gas budget quite far.

Today, with a wife and four kids, our family uses… wait for it… a mini-van!  It’s our go-to vehicle for basically everything – for getting the kids to school, soccer practice and everywhere in between.  It’s amazing how often that minivan needs to be refilled!  

To be sure, the minivan offers many benefits a big family like ours needs.  But my Miata could get me farther on just one tank of gas, at a lot less of a price.  

In some ways, PR is like that little Miata.  Paul Friederchsen, a friend and fellow marketing colleague, recently said something that struck me:  “PR allows brands to go a lot farther. If you think about it, advertising is like paying $5 of gas per gallon, while PR is like paying just $1 per gallon.”

Media coverage like this was nicely integrated with social media, ensuring consistent brand messaging across multiple audiences.

And he’s right!  We recently completed a fun assignment with LG Hausys’ Surfaces Division.  Without making this blog longer than it needs to be, the essence of the story is this:  We were able to effectively leverage the strategy and content of our PR work across multiple marketing areas.  This included social media posts, two prestigious award entries, new website content, and of course, media awareness.

The integrated PR and social media approach we took created a truly seamless way to ensure LG’s brand messages were communicated consistently to their key external audiences: The media, their social media followers and customers visiting their website.  We also used the PR content to make important award submissions, which created more message consistency and time efficiency.

Using content from the press release, we completed high profile award submissions on behalf of the client, which ensured consistent brand messaging and saved duplicated efforts.

Like that little old Miata, we were able to take LG’s marketing dollars farther.  

When PR and social media are fully aligned, it can be like a sports car zipping down the road getting great gas mileage. 

As we head into 2020, the economy remains strong.  But many pundits are predicting a slowdown and perhaps even a recession.  If this is the case, all marketing leaders need to ask themselves: What vehicles are the best ones to drive your organization forward?  And are they the most efficient and effective for where you are heading?  

I don’t know about you, but it’s nice to have a vehicle that doesn’t need to be filled up every day and that doesn’t cost a fortune each time you fill it up.  

I sure do miss that little Miata some days…. And I’m sure glad our clients see the value and benefit to a combined PR and social media strategy. 

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