Despite their vehement protestations to the contrary, the media take to surveys like bees to honey.
The most recent example is a very smart, pre-Oscar night survey undertaken by NYC-based Heartland Breweries. They asked 800 customers of their five Big Apple restaurants to name the all-time best beer movies. Not surprisingly, "Animal House" finished first with "Old School" in the runner-up spot. The shocker, though, was "All about Eve" which ended up number 12. Apparently, the restaurant chain denizens are a much more erudite lot than one might expect.
Anyway, surveys like this are smart marketing and brand awareness tools. Not only did a fairly obscure restaurant break through in the NYC print media, but several radio stations were busy communicating the survey results as well. One can only imagine how much business the survey will generate for Heartland.
So, I will ask a certain medical supplies executive who frequents the Repman blog and insists that advertising is a smarter, more effective marketing spend than PR, if he could guess at a corresponding advertising dollar figure for this kind of awareness and credibility. If I had to speculate at the amount of advertising Heartland would have had to run to equal today’s buzz, I’d put the figure in the low seven figures minimum (BTW, I bet the entire survey project and press release distribution cost less than $5,000).
All of which reinforces my unequivocal belief that PR is quite simply the smartest, most strategic and most cost effective way for marketers to break through. Now, where did I leave my beer?"