Did he ever say it?

“If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on PR.”

This statement is widely attributed to Microsoft’s Bill Gates.

But you can’t find a source for it anywhere on the internet, apart from mentions in articles by people writing about PR and why you should use it.

Alternative versions have it as “If I was down to my last marketing dollar, I’d spend it on PR,” which, to be fair, seems a bit more believable.

And some people think the quote (if it was ever uttered at all) came from Microsoft’s head of marketing, which, again, seems more likely.

Anyway, what it’s supposed to be getting across is that PR is a cost-effective and quite simply a better way, regardless of cost, of promoting a company and its products than alternative marketing methods, especially advertising.

But, and here’s the thing, what if he did say it? Most businesses or managers can’t even begin to relate to Microsoft or multi-billionaire Bill. What’s more, do you know how much PR you can buy for a dollar? Not much.

So what’s the point? Well there are a lot of people who do believe that PR is the most effective way of marketing your business and its products and services. In fact, most of our clients rely almost exclusively on PR to deliver their marketing messages.

What we’d recommend is that if, you’re down to your last dollar (or pound), use it to ring up your five or six most likely sales prospects. If you’ve got a few hundred to spend, invite those sales prospects out to dinner. If you’ve got a few thousand, then your marketing options open up a bit more.

What we’d definitely recommend if you want to use your marketing budget as effectively as possible is that PR should certainly be a major part of it.

Categories: Opinion PR