Customer behavior has continually changed since Priority Marketing was founded more than 25 years ago, and this requires our PR and marketing strategies to change as well.
More brands are competing for people’s attention in more ways than ever. From emails and texts to social media and retargeting ads, it can be hard to break through the clutter. If you want to turn on your brand, you’re going to have to get creative. One way to do that is by expertly integrating your PR and marketing strategies.
Many people aren’t fully sure what is the difference between marketing and PR. If you are confused, let’s clear that up first.
What’s the difference between marketing and PR?
Think of marketing as the arm of promotion that goes directly to the consumer, usually leveraging paid or owned media. That includes advertising of all kinds as well as websites, social media pages, etc. Additionally, marketing’s goal is usually to get a direct response from the customer with a clear call to action.
PR, on the other hand, has the job of managing the company’s reputation. PR gets the company as much positive media coverage as possible – what experts call earned media. Marketing has an additional target market as its focus because it includes reporters, editors and social influencers, as well as consumer audiences. PR’s goal is usually media impressions, measured by how many people likely viewed a particular news item featuring the company.
Marketing and PR share many of the same goals, and they work best when they work together in a well-coordinated effort.
How to Get Marketing and PR to Work Together
Now that you have a clear understanding of what marketing and PR are, you can start to work on your strategy that incorporates both disciplines in a strategic way. According to the Global Communications Report of 2018, over the next five years, the integration of PR and marketing departments is happening for most companies. Below are some of the top strategies you can use to integrate your marketing and PR departments without many challenges.
Collaborate Early and Often
If you try to start working together in the middle of a project, you’ve already lost valuable time and insight from the side that wasn’t involved in the early planning stages. The best thing you can do is start with both PR and marketing professionals working together. We suggest collaborating early and often for a successful integration.
Speak the Same Language
Many of the tasks that are around today were not something you would be doing 20 years ago. If you go back to the 1990s, there was no job title such as content specialist or SEO analyst. There wasn’t even a digital marketing department. Both departments should know their digital age lingo in order to speak the same language. If one is behind the times, it will cause problems for the other.
Let’s say that your marketing department starts a campaign to generate more leads for a specific product. The PR department could work with the marketing department by getting the product in the media to get some extra attention. Being able to say your product or service was featured in a magazine or on a TV spot will give you some leverage. Think about ways both teams can tailor their campaigns, so they are working in tandem. Hoping your campaigns work together isn’t enough. Set up the strategy together and work closely to make sure your teams implement it properly.
Marketing and PR have difference ways of reaching the same goal, but sometimes their tools overlap. Instead of working separately, encourage the teams to check and see if one has resources that will help the other achieve results. Does marketing have messaging, infographics or photography that PR can provide to the media? How can the company’s website and social media channels support each department’s goals? Sharing resources can result in greater efficiency and success.
If all of your goals are separate, the marketing and PR teams are always going to feel like competitors instead of allies. Set goals that both departments can work toward together. Many times, PR creates content that isn’t helping toward any specific in-house goal besides making the company look good. If marketing communicates what some of their goals are, the teams can work on these goals together. In this case, it would help PR create content that is on-point and it would help marketing with a push toward a specific goal.
Monitor and Measure
These teams should be monitoring and measuring every step of the way to see how the integration is going. If you start to notice that the numbers are slipping, you need to quickly see why things aren’t working well. On the other hand, if things are going well, you want to see what is working and do more of it.
Where Should Your Business Focus
Knowing there are so many opportunities for your business with the developments between PR and marketing, where should you focus? While you might find other parts of your business that need attention, here are some of the areas we recommend working on to get great results.
Building Powerful Links
If you are using content marketing to attract customers, besides creating great content, you need to build powerful links for SEO. If you aren’t sure what classifies as a powerful link, here are some things to look for:
- An active readership
- High domain authority
- A follow link
If you can get a link to your site from a website that has a good following, trust from Google and they allow it to be a follow link, that’s a good link to have. Many companies get these links through guest posts, appearing on podcasts and other online opportunities.
Link building usually comes from your marketing team, but your PR team can also help with acquiring links. If you’re looking for a specific opportunity to build links, your PR team might have a connection that will allow you to guest post on the site you’re after.
Getting Media Coverage
Getting media coverage is definitely a PR specialty, but now marketing professionals are getting in the game. If you have a team that covers online marketing, you’ll find many of these marketers will reach out to media online for links back to their site.
Media coverage is a great way to build credibility, but if you get covered by a popular channel, you can also get a good amount of traffic and even sales. If your company doesn’t have a PR team and is struggling with getting coverage, try to connect with a reporter that needs quotes for their articles or guests for interviews.
They say content is king, and you need to create content that wows your visitors. Your content should be so informative and helpful that visitors don’t need to go anywhere else to solve their problem.
If you have a product or service that can help your visitors further, make sure to weave it into the content so it doesn’t seem like a sales pitch. Content marketing is about helping someone discover something vs. selling them on a product or service.
The marketing team usually takes care of this type of content, but you may find the PR team dipping their toes in the water as well. If you can get the PR team and marketing team to work together on the project, you may be able to boost your content so it will go viral.
Video, Video, Video
We couldn’t leave video out, and it’s almost like we saved the best for last. Facebook alone generates 8 billion video views on a daily basis. It’s obvious that people love their videos and if you don’t have your videos online, you’re missing out on views from your target audience.
There are many different types of video you can use to boost your business. You might want to add explainer videos, product or service demos and interview videos to your website.
Marketing takes care of most of the video production for your company, but PR can help you land the interviews so you can get videos of the interviews for your website. Having these types of videos builds your credibility and PR often has the contacts and expertise to land them.
If you feel like you have a little information overload, take a step back and look at the strategies you’re already using and see how you can improve it by bringing PR and marketing together. You’re likely to have a few ideas after going through this article.
Sometimes doing everything on your own isn’t the answer and you need to ask for a helping hand. This goes for your PR and marketing teams, and even your company. Many companies find they need to outsource their marketing, reputation management and other online tasks because of the bandwidth it uses when their own in-house team does such tasks. That’s where Priority Marketing can help!
Now you understand how PR and marketing can work together. If you’re ready to start getting the attention your business deserves, we can help. Contact us today and we can help with integrated PR and marketing plans, and execute those plans with the full array of PR and marketing services.