PR, Print and Mentions the Best Buy for Selling Cars

A new report from Foresight Research does a deep dive into the power of automotive public relations. Foresight Research interviewed about 5,500 new car and truck buyers to find out how public relations has affected their purchase decision and a bunch of other things.

When it comes to communicating brand imagery, PR. is strong.  Over the last 3 years public relations has been just about the best way to communicate the all-important brand reputation. PR. earns a gold medal for communicating brands. And for value and quality PR. also rings the bell- big time – it gets a silver medal.

When comparing the public relations budget to the marketing budget the PR budget is not “chump change”, but Foresight Research calls it a marketing “best buy” Foresight Research has been measuring marketing communications for much more than a decade.  Of all the communications channel levers that an auto manufacturer can pull, public relations is almost tied with TV and closely follows digital.

So, to back this statement up a few facts are presented.  Every year Foresight Research interviews over 5,000 new car and truck buyers.  Respondents are asked a lot of questions, but one is what marketing communications channel influenced them to buy their vehicle.  Public relations clocks in at 24% year, after year, after year.  Digital and TV advertising is a little more – but just a little more.  For the most recent model year (2019 – the last pre pandemic year) PR closed the gap further as PR influenced 28% of all buyers, while TV stayed constant.  Given that typical PR budgets are a generally just a fraction of the advertising budget – but the results are similar – automotive PR is a “best buy”.

Drilling down to present more evidence of the PR value – a few more facts are presented.   38% of all buyers say that they remember seeing an article about the vehicle they bought.  Another 12% recall seeing a digital “buff book” article.  And 28% say they were influenced to purchase by their exposure to public relations. Of course, they also used other forms of communications:  brochures, digital, TV, print ads and experiential events and auto shows.  But PR is right up there.  In addition to that, buyers influenced by PR are also more often influenced by the other forms of communication.  So, when you put it all together, there actually is synergism.

This affordable report now available from Foresight Research does a deep dive into the power of automotive public relations. Visit the website, e mail or call for more information and a webinar for you and your team. W

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