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Chapter 18 : Public Relations and Direct Marketing Strategies

Public Relations

   Public Relations Objectives
   Public Relations Strategies
   Public Relations Planning
   Public Relations in Times of Crises
   Internet and Public Relations
   Public Relations Techniques
   Public Relations Budgets
   Public Relations - Evaluation and Control

Direct Marketing

   Direct Marketing Objectives
   Considerations in the Use of Direct Marketing
   Database: The Key to Direct Marketing
   Direct Marketing - Evaluation and Control

Chapter Summary

Public relations are a non-paid form of communication which aim at influencing the feelings, opinion, or belief of consumers, prospects, or shareholders. The objective of public relations should always be helpful in achieving the overall organizational objectives. Setting measurable and time bound objectives are essential as this will help the public relations department of an organization to show the results achieved. In a public relations strategy, having a story idea helps to obtain good coverage. Public relations have to play an important role when a crisis occurs in an organization. All the relevant information has to be provided to the media at the earliest. All the concerns of the stakeholders of the organization like employees, consumers, etc. need to be addressed. Once the crisis is under control, follow-up measures have to be undertaken and conveyed to the media. The Internet plays a significant role in public relations. It provides the advantage of real time interactive communication which can be accessed by people in all parts of the globe without any geographical barriers. E-mails, corporate websites, search engines, etc. can be effectively made use of in public relations.

Blogs form another potential online public relations medium and they are widely used by many organizations. Various techniques are used in public relations like newsletters, speeches, special events, and trade shows.

Direct marketing involves all the activities undertaken by an organization in effecting the exchange of goods and services with a target audience by making use of media like direct selling, direct mail, telemarketing, direct-action advertising, catalog selling, cable selling, etc. Some of the important objectives of direct marketing are identifying new prospects, increasing sales, inducing customers to make repeat purchases, test marketing and launch of new products, marketing products to niche market segments, and so on. Databases form an important aspect of direct marketing. Database marketing involves collecting all the available information about customers and prospects and using that information to increase the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Evaluation of direct marketing can be done from the customer response and profitability attained. Customer response can be studied through geodemographic classification, tracking studies, responder/non-responder surveys, etc. New customer acquisition, use of new media, addition of new products, or increase in the number of times a customer is contacted etc. can help to increase sales, profitability, return on investment, etc.

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