Adeleye described Public Relations (PR) as promotional activities usually undertaken with a view to communicate a favourable image of a product or its manufacturer. While Busch & Houston defined PR as the management of an organization’s desire to elicit from one or more publics a general positive feeling toward the organization and its product or service. PR is therefore a planned and sustained effort geared towards establishing and maintaining goodwill, positive good word-of-mouth, mutual understanding between an organization and its target audience. It is the fundamental and primary role of projecting a very good image of the organization as well as its products and services.
Tools of PR: Kotler and Armstrong identified the following as the tools of PR:
Press relations: putting news worthy information in the news media e.g newspapers, radio, television etc.
Corporate communications: creating within and without communications to promote understanding of an organization and its activities.
Lobbying: Dealing with politicians and government functionaries in order to promote favourable policies and regulations.
Counselling: Advising corporate management about relevant public issues and company positions and image.
Publicity may be defined as news about products or companies appearing in the form of editorial material without cost to sponsor in the press, or radio, television, stage etc. In other understanding between an organization and its public. Most common form of publicity words, it is a deliberate plan and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual include the followings:-
The press release or news item
Work visits etc
Uses of publicity
Creating awareness of firm’s products, brands and activities
Overcoming negative influence.
Enhancing image such as innovativeness or progressiveness
Characteristics of Publicity
It is free
It is more believable
It has higher credibility
It can overcome perceptual deafness of consumers
It less controllable than other forms of promotion
It could be positive or negative
Other contemporary Promotional Elements
It is a way of interacting with clients through the use of non-personal media to introduce products by mail or telephone or Internet. Direct marketing activities can also take place through the use of catalog marketing, direct response marketing, telemarketing and computer interactive marketing. It shares four distinctive characteristics such as
Non-public: The message is normally addressed to a specific person
Customized: The message can be prepared to appeal to the addressed individual.
Up-to-date: A message can be prepared very quickly.
Interactive: The message can be changed depending on the person’s response.
It is a medium of long-term commitment which facilitates the development of a dialogue and relationship with each customer and prospect. It involves careful selection, collection and constant analysis of computerized customers records/data. A successful direct marketing effort will require a reliable customer and prospect databank.
It is the form of support given in cash or kind to worthy activities by marketing organizations through which the society benefits. It can be in the form of recreational activities, sporting events, competitions for example Family Game Show, Who Wants to be A Millonaire, sponsored by MTN, Maltina Dance Hall and Ultimate Search sponsored by Nigerian Beweries (NB) Plc.
It is a visual means of identifying a corporation, company or organization. Corporate identity is a strategic asset which helps to achieve the long-term communication goals. It is a symbolic uniform which is peculiar and unique identity of an organization. It can be expressed in the form of an organizational flag, building and vehicular colouration, uniform (e.g. airline operators), m business letter heads, logos/product symbols etc.
Exhibition is the medium through which buyers, sellers and competitors come together under one roof for a limited period of time. Product and services can be seen, demonstrated or tested and face-to-face contact can be made with a large number of relevant decision-makers in a short period of time.
It is the means by which a manufacturer and its retailer combine their resources with the aim of increasing sales. Merchandising requires the guidance and promotional materials of the manufacturer based on his selling strategy and the facilities of the retailers. Merchandising requires skillful product display and store layout so that products will be strategically displayed in the store.
It is the means by which the consumer is able to distinguish one product from another, either because it adds an extra service element or because it provides some psychological satisfaction. Pride and Ferrel described packaging as involving the development of a container and a graphic design for a product. It also includes the wrapping, boxing, crating and preserving of product. It serves to identify and advertise the product.
It has to do with what people say about a company, its products, services, and staff. It may be positive or negative, complaint, admiration or an endorsement. Positive comments project the image of the company while negative comments embarrass the organization, hence organizations make conscious efforts to ensure positive comments are made by the society about the organization products, services as well as the staff
Factors Influencing Promotion Mix
The size of budget available
Target of the promotion
Nature of the market situation
The type and nature of the product
Stages of the product in its life cycle
Need for Promotion: Every organization whether small, medium or large need to promote their products, services or ideas based on the following reasons:
Distance between producer and consumer
In period of shortages and scarcity
Benefits of Promotion
Benefits of promotion can be broadly classified into three:
Management and organization dimension
It enables the company to increase the demand for its products, service or ideas
It assists the company to see distribution of its products among marketing channel member
It also helps a company in establishing new product in the heart of the buyers
It helps company to build preference for its branded products
It assist the company to build favourable and acceptable corporate image
Promotion can help the company overcome the problem of sales fluctuation
Consumers become aware of the different offers available in the market
Competition is encouraged, thereby improving the quality of service received by the consumer
There is better bargaining power for the consumers.
The individual and household can enjoy a higher level of welfare
Promotional activity creates additional employment for the society.
It increases the rate of economic growth as the activity adds to the Gross Domestic Product of the economy.
The society becomes more informed and educated on the various products offerings in the market.
The government is also able to generate additional revenue from promotional advert rate/taxes imposed to provide additional infrastructures.
You have learnt in this module the activities of marketing communication which is popularly referred to as promotion. The module discussed the five traditional promotional mix elements namely Advertising, Personal Selling, Sales Promotion, Publicity and Public Relation, Other promotional mix element such as Trade Fair / Exhibition, Packaging, Merchandising, Direct Marketing, Sponsorship, corporate identity, word of mouth were discussed. These are tools you can use to project or create awareness about your products services and ideas.