Free publicity is gaining 'free' media attention. You 'get' that when you have something new to say, something that appeals to the target group. With a press release you make your news known to the media who will (hopefully) write something about it.
The moment a journalist, for example following your press release or a telephone call, decides to write an article about your subject and to post it, we speak of free publicity. There is no payment for the space that the item occupies.
In contrast to placing an advertisement, where the same space is charged. But what makes the added value of free publicity so special that you spend your money on something that is apparently 'free'?
There are seven benefits to opt for an investment in free publicity:
1. Low irritation value
When reading a newspaper or magazine, watching TV or listening to the radio, the attention of the reader, viewer or listener goes to the content side. It is not uncommon for people to zap during advertising or not to see the advertising at all.
However, content articles or conversations and opinions are carefully watched and listened to - that is why we 'use' those media: we need information and especially news. An article can bring annoying news in terms of content, but never irritates like an advertisement or direct marketing campaign. News after all, do you like or at least interesting to hear or read.
2. More credible than other communications
Promoting yourself - and you do so in an advertorial, advertisement or direct marketing, is of course never credible. It can contribute to a positive result of your free publicity - but that has more to do with the power of repetition.
3. Shelf life - long-term effect
A substantive article about the background of this specific bank can plant a seed for the reader that will grow and reappear the moment you ever want to take out a mortgage yourself, or talk to someone who is looking for a good bank, for example.
4. Substantive attention
When a journalist writes about you, substantive attention is paid to your product, service or organization. You cannot give that substantive attention in an advertisement - then you are selling. A combination is also offered in the form of an 'advertorial'. You create a smart advertorial by adapting the layout of the text to the rest of the medium. For example, a reader can be 'misled' by thinking that this article was written by the editors.
5. Leading the competition
Realize that the moment you (positively) in the media, your existing and potential customers are confirmed in a good choice. And the competition also has to check - because the attention goes all the way to you!
6. Added value for the reliability of your organization
In an article you read that company X, at the time of crisis, chose to keep employees on board and to continue to provide the same services in a different way. Perhaps with less profit, but with the satisfaction of satisfied people and customers. What does that do with your opinion about that company? And what does it do to you if this is a company that you are already doing business with or may want to do?
If an impartial journalist about your message like that, it leaves a good impression on the reader, listener or viewer. It confirms the image of a reliable party because a journalist reports this. No advertisement can compete with this!
7. Power of repetition
Free publicity never stands alone. It is part of the communication palette of your organization. The more often someone encounters the name of your organization, the easier the name will stick. A combination of different communications is therefore also the best. The free publicity that you will generate generates all other expressions.