Study Claims PR Works Better Than PPC Advertising


It's always been known PR is an efficiently powerful thing and here's another bit of research that supports that notion at the expense of pay-per-click advertising. A research brief released today by MarketingExperiments announced that public relations campaigns can cost less and deliver better returns on investment (ROI) than pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns.

Over a six-month period of time, MarketingExperiments tested nine news releases covering various topics that were sent out over professional and free newswire services. MarketingExperiments tracked the direct incoming traffic and backlinks on its site as well as the interview opportunities that resulted from each press release. It also compared the average cost per visit associated with each news release versus both the cost per visit associated with its average optimized PPC campaign and the cost per click for relevant targeted keywords in Google.

Results showed that the cost per click of the public relations efforts was less than the cost to drive traffic to the site through purchasing keywords in a PPC campaign. The results also demonstrated that the news releases created significant spikes in site traffic and helped to create a five-fold increase in the number of incoming links to MEC's site.

The research brief is currently available for free in the Marketing Experiments Journal ( Login required.

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (1)     Sep-26-05  
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This report is hardly clear on the details of the PPC campaigns they're testing against these press releases.

What's more... it's important to read the caveat at the botttom of the study:

"It is important to note that additional costs were incurred through the use of a PR firm to help write and distribute the press releases."

Say what? They didn't factor these costs into the equation. So they're just looking at the costs to put a release on the wire. That's not a valid comparison to me.

They try to cover themselves with this:

"However, we have estimated that these costs are similar to those involved with the labor of setting up and optimizing a PPC campaign."

I don't think so. I can have Google ads up and runing in 5 minutes on Google.

Posted by: John on September 27, 2005 09:18 AM

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