Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I'm on a business kick lately. Forgive me if you don't find these posts interesting. I can go back to writing about sex if the numbers for the blog start to taper off -- but one of the things that I think makes my blog special is that it's more well-rounded than other blogs by sex workers.

Without further ado, let's talk about the Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR.

Is advertising dead? Some think so. Between TIVO, DVRs and OnDemand, traditional advertising vehicles -- mainly commercials -- aren't as effective as they were even five or ten years ago. Unless one has a captive audience that's receptive to advertising (during the Superbowl, for instance) many consumers just tune ads out.

What is a company to do? Easy: increase their PR efforts. The benchmark of PR is the idea of a third-party endorsement. What the is that, you ask? Well, traditionally, advertising is a two-party system. You have the advertiser, and the viewer. PR, on the other hand, uses a third party to inform the viewer of a product and/or service.

OK, that was a little murky. Think of it this way: Ads talk to you. They tell you to buy something. PR, on the other hand, uses a third party -- a journalist, a blogger, etc. -- to inform you of a product or service without necessarily making a hard sell. Let's examine this more in-depth.

Say you're a teenager, and you have acne. You desperately want it to go away. Will an infomercial for ProActiv solution convince you that ProActiv is the way to go? How about a commercial or a print ad for Neutrogena? Come on, you don't believe those ads, do you? They're just after profits!

Now, let's take a PR approach. A representative for Neutrogena decides that many teenagers aren't watching TV live -- they catch up with OnDemand, DVR, or even streaming online. So, in order to reach the audience, they need to meet teens on their own turf.

The PR executive decides to reach out to beauty blogs and offer them free samples of their products in exchange for an in-depth review complete with photos and links to Neutrogena's website, as well as details as to where the products can be purchased. A few bloggers take Neutrogena up on their deal. Acne, after all, can plague all of us.

Hopefully, the products work. Maybe the blogger even includes before-and-after photos to detail how the product worked over the course of four to six weeks. So, what does Neutrogena now have? A third-party endorsement!

People will trust that blogger. He or she will disclose that they were given the products for free, and that they clarified with Neutrogena that they would post an honest review and NOT take any type of payment. Now, let's say a teen suffering from acne finds this review and decides to purchase Neutrogena. Bam! Sale!

Traditional advertising looks almost old-fashioned and boring by comparison. As a rule, people are suspicious of ads and big business. Companies need to stop talking at consumers and begin talking with them in order to succeed.

My own career in escorting with built on one of the other benchmarks of PR as well: word of mouth. I was sure to have references available for potential clients who perhaps were a little hesitant about hiring a male sex worker for the first time. So, if that client took the plunge, enjoyed herself, she often told her friends about her experience. Some of them would, in turn, call my agent for a booking of their own.

It's marketing. It's sales. It's PR. And above all else, it's what I'm passionate about. This is the real me, folks. And for the first time in a long time, I'm feeling like my future is as bright as the skyscrapers of a Manhattan evening :)
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