January 10

PR's Value in Sales Lead Generation

Content Marketing


A new survey reveals something else that sales and marketing can argue about — the ability of public relations to generate sales leads. 

The survey of 100 sales and marketing professionals was conducted by Launch Pad, an analytical marketing consulting firm on behalf of SHIFT Communications, a PR firm. 

Here’s a few survey highlights:

37 percent of survey respondents who are in Sales believe “lead generation” is an essential function of PR. However, only 16 percent of Marketing professionals – fewer than half of the respondents from Sales – believe a primary goal of PR is to directly generate leads.

74 percent of respondents believe PR and "word of mouth" are more effective than advertising at generating sales leads.

Only 30 percent of all respondents believe lead generation is a function of PR, yet 49 percent of survey takers said the best measure of Public Relations success is the generation of more or better sales leads. This clear disconnect means sales leads from PR are highly valued – and yet not expected by the majority of survey takers.

More data on their blog PR Squared

Do you agree with these findings? 

Should PR play a role in lead generation?  Why or Why not?

When it Comes to PR, a “Perception Gap” Exists Between Marketing & Sales Executives

On 1/21/2005 MarketingSherpa covered the study too

Startling Survey Results: Sales Execs Rate PR’s Importance Much Higher Than Marketing Execs Do

About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing. He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. PR has a role to play in tandem with Lead Gen. By virtue of its core nature, PR generates positive brand awareness and credibility which, according to my belief and experience, few other tools can so successfully achieve. PR is a pull mechanism and can generate leads in that sense. However it’s a long term sustained effort. Other Lead Gen tools like webinars, emails campaigns and calling works better and more effectively if there’s an already a positive perception in the contacts mind (apart from other very obvious conditions, like a non existent product line). PR helps ‘soak’/influence the decision makers indirectly and makes other direct campaigns achieve faster, increased results.

  2. Excellent points! When done consistently PR will improve the performance of your other lead generation vehicles.

    Most CEOs feel that they aren’t getting enough activity at the top of the sales funnel. Marketers are constantly reminded that more leads are needed. . .now!

    So here’s the challenge that most marketers face… they want to think long-term but keep getting sucked in by the more immediate and pressing issue of a not having enough high quality sales leads.

    Considering that issue do you have any recommendations or resources for our readers to help sell/convince their CEO’s and CFO’s that focusing more attention on PR is a good long-term investment?


  3. Believe me you! Thats the toughest part. CXOs seem to count more on direct email campaigns and
    calling, for lead generation than long term strategy. Therefore, I guess it remains an eternal debate, eternally lacking focus. One way to show result, that I can suggest, is definitely doing an awareness audit. Once there’s a media coverage like a corporate level profile cover (CXO) you can use emails (snail mails are classier) to send out these snippets to prospects/partners/clients. This in return always generate complimentary mails/comments from the recipients which act as a ‘proof’ that PR
    1. gives you something to talk about beyond direct selling
    2. helps generate positive values without you go bragging
    3. helps establish controlled messages in an uncontrolled manner and at relatively cheaper cost
    Its important and also hard, to start the cycle, once on roll there surely is some impact out of if nothing else but ‘feel-goodness’
    However, again, its an ongoing effort to keep focused in PR.

    Never heard anything truer than this Brian ‘So here’s the challenge that most marketers face… they want to think long-term but keep getting sucked in by the more immediate and pressing issue of a not having enough high quality sales leads.’ Keeping getting sucked into is the situation.
    Good luck all!

  4. PR can be used to open new sales opportunities, close business, re-open stagnant accounts, and justify a competitive position.

    It can be debated between sales and marketing organizations as to the purpose of PR relative to lead generation and sales use however, there are only three ways a company makes more money – get more new customers, increase the value of their average sale, and get more repeat business. PR advances all three of these revenue categories and as such should be included in any “marketing” plan.

    I wonder what percentage of respondents, both in sales and marketing, would agree that the purpose of PR is to support revenue growth?

  5. It’s nice to see a healthy debate. The purpose of launching the survey was exactly this.

    Hopefully you folks are still paying attention when we launch our next piece of news. Hint: this one pertains to REAL measurement (not ad value equivalency or “share of voice”).

    Stay tuned, folks.

Comments are closed.

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