When I first joined the PR industry, I worked with numerous marketing professionals on a variety of projects, but during those early days I never once felt that we were on the same page. Today, the PR professional is playing a more integrated role with a client’s marketing and sales divisions. Added to this the new dimension of digital and social medial content, which is now considered part of both the PR and marketing scope of work, the overall result is that in this new age, neither PR or marketing can function alone.
These days, the PR landscape is characterised by a rapid growth in content marketing, as opposed to just promotional activities seen previously. The PR professional’s role has evolved to develop solid content about the brand. There is a stronger focus on how to share messages clearly, whether through social media by building relationships with influencers such as bloggers, or traditional methods such as pitching stories to newspapers and magazines.
In light of this ever-developing landscape, the PR professional needs to undertake certain actions in order to create the right mindset:
Speak Louder: The PR professional should place an emphasis on working with their clients to build long-relationships with customers. Marketers, in turn, have to align their campaign to the PR activities.
Increasing the Budget: Some influencers might ask for additional costs to create brand content, so it is important for the marketers to be aware that they may need to pay extra fees for certain engagements.
Research: The PR professional needs to understand the Key Performance Indicators of the marketing and sales divisions and establish what each of these is aiming to achieve. They will then be in a position to know what information they can share for the benefit of the client.
Campaigns: Public relations and marketing can work more closely together when it comes to integrated campaigns. Marketing can learn effective storytelling, which is the bread and butter of the PR professional’s role, while the PR professional can lean on marketing and sales to master the skills of inferring relevant data in order to increase the effectiveness of brand campaigns.
The PR professional needs to ensure that the messages they are delivering to the consumer are consistent with what is being put out by the marketing and sales team, and vice versa. This includes anything going out via social media, press releases, online text, video ads, email copy and sale pitches. Overall, PR integrating with marketing and sales isn’t about becoming one and carrying out the same role, it’s about working in synchronicity and with synergy so that both can become stronger. Maintaining the harmony between the elements is essential for attracting, attaining and managing an audience in today’s hyper-connected environment.