New research: The finest strategy to raise brand awareness is PR

The fact that men and women often act very differently is well known – with, “Why men don’t listen an women can’t read maps?” being just one of the frequently quoted clichés. According to a new study, the gender divide is also recognisable in advertising effectiveness. It turns out that men and women react differently to Public Relations and advertising. But in the end one question still remains: Will the study’s results fit to other branches?

„Scaling PR: The impact of Earned, Paid, and Brand Content“ is the title of the research, carried out by  Synaptic Digital and Kantar Video, a division of WPP, a media and marketing services company. By using video assets supplied by a major automotive maker, 1800 men and women were interviewed. The study differentiated between earned media which is typically classified as editorial coverage resulting from media relations’ efforts or social-media-advice, paid media – adverts presented like news – and classical brand advertising which is called brand media. The participants were separated into groups, whereby some of them were exposed to paid media content, some to earned media content, some to both and some to brand media.

The study’s astonishing result: It discovered that brand awareness is much higher when earned media and paid media messages are combined. This impact is mainly notable with women, whereas men did not see any multichannel lift and PR was their highest scoring format.

However, what about the cliché that men never listen anyway? The lesson is: Even men sometimes listen to things they are interested in – if you also want them to pay attention to your brand, you should use conventional PR. By contrast, women need a mixture.

But be it men or women, one fact still remains: Public Relations is necessary to place a brand properly and to raise the customer’s attention for it. Whether used in combination or alone: If it is about the brand loyalty, PR is the be-all and end-all and gains in importance in relation to traditional advertising.

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