“Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.” —Richard Branson
Richard Branson is the prominent British business mogul with over 400 companies under the Virgin Group and a net worth of $5.1 billion. His insights on public relations (PR) and advertising come, quite obviously, from a great amount of success and experience.
The sentiment also simply makes sense. The art of storytelling has connected generations, communities, and cultures for as long as humans have existed. Storytelling—or, in a broader sense, communication—is a foundational pillar of any civilization, culture, or people. The story and the emotion it elicits are why songs sell and why people celebrate holidays, attend events, and, ultimately, make purchases.
PR tells a company’s story, and that story often connects a business with people in a stronger way than an often-overlooked print ad or a radio clip that goes in one ear and out the other. PR doesn’t act in a vacuum, though. PR, marketing, and advertising are all connected, and this trifecta can make or break a brand.
PR and marketing services are changing and evolving in the world’s fast-paced, global, and tech-saturated economy. Business analysts already project marketing services will be greatly affected by advancements in artificial intelligence.
Now, agencies are converging PR and marketing services to compete and to rise above the digital clutter.
This makes sense, given PR and marketing are connected at their cores. Offering digital marketing and PR services in tandem only strengthens the deliverables and elevates the brand. This isn’t a new idea; it’s just being reinvented on a digital platform.
SparkPR, who won the Bronze Stevie® for Public Relations Agency of the Year in the 2018 American Business Awards, has 20 years of experience in digital marketing. Specializing in helping innovation-minded companies transform their brands with powerful storytelling programs, SparkPR uses the latest digital analytics to amplify PR programs. Services include content and social development, programmatic distribution, paid media, and data-driven insights to inform strategic planning and to measure go-to-market plans.
This strategy has proved successful. Some of the world’s most innovative startups and industry leaders, including eBay, Electronic Arts, Flickr, Mozilla.org, Nokia, NVIDIA, Skype, the Economist, Trulia, Verizon, Visa, Yahoo!, and Walmart Labs, have partnered with SparkPR and reaped the ROI.
The methods SparkPR uses are adaptable to quickly growing tech and investment programs, too. For example, SparkPR provided comprehensive strategic communications and marketing services for blockchain and cryptocurrency leaders through what they call “Sparkchain.” This guides successful token sales to growing companies post-ICO, and Spark has emerged globally as the preferred partner for these highly specialized services.
The company’s ability to deliver has strengthened startup opportunities. A startup that might normally prepare for months to secure venture funding is able to create a business, launch it, and raise tens of millions of dollars in less than three months.
“Funding was secured for concepts, not betas, and money was often from wealthy individual investors, not VCs,” says Spark's co-founder Donna Burke.
Zucker develops strategies for written and creative content for their clients. She notes that many of the company’s startup clients successfully exit through acquisitions or go public through IPO, thus demonstrating how a successful partnership with SparkPR delivers ROI.
SparkPR aims to constantly stay updated with developments in cutting-edge technology, as well as to maintain the ability to translate those changes into a wider landscape.
“Collaborating with like-minded innovators is always ideal—especially those who are creating the next era of the Internet,” says CEO, Alan Soucy. “It’s truly an era of transparency, efficiency, and trust.”
SparkPR is one example of a company that has sought to raise the global tide and is fighting to stay ahead of the rapid changes. They also seek to be adaptable by offering various mobilized marketing and PR services, which have traditionally been separated—at least by department in the business world.
True to their storytelling mind-set, SparkPR believes their client successes and awards, such as the recent Stevie Award, will elevate their brand as well as their story, as the world enters a new digital age of marketing and the Internet. And, as Branson aptly stated, that story will do far more for them than any front-page ad.