Marketing & PR: Integration not segregation
As organisations embrace the digital era, the lines between different departments are being constantly blurred.
Marketing used to mean direct mail, events, branded stationery and content for sales collateral. PR was all about newspapers and printed magazines, wining and dining journalists and trying very hard to get your name on the front page of The Times. Nobody had even heard of Google Analytics and a tweet was still the sound of a calling bird.
Roll forward 15 years and those same criteria no longer exist. Don’t get me wrong, marketing and PR are still sisters and not twins, but both are content generators with just a slightly different end goal.
So what does this mean for your business and why is it important to integrate your marketing and PR teams, not segregate them?
First, align your teams
Whether you have an external agency for one or both or manage the process in-house, the marketing and PR teams must be singing from the same song sheet. The most effective marketing and PR campaigns compliment each other and run side by side. It is important to have your marketing team to come up with the plan and messages for the next month, quarter or even year together. This will ensure that you are in a much better position to maximise the benefits of both.
Sharing is caring
Once the messaging is agreed, it is time to create the content and share it across the various channels. Don’t let the teams get precious about who owns what content as the best way to maximise ROI is to re-purpose, re-purpose and re-purpose again. There is no reason a thought leadership piece can’t be altered and then shared as a blog, or a PR case study turned into a more concise, benefit heavy marketing case study.
And of course SEO begins to play a role here, but as long as you are clever about how and where you place content you should be able to maximise exposure without damaging SEO.
Yes, a drink or two between teams will certainly help the relationship, but that’s not the kind of social I am talking. I am thinking likes, shares, tweets, stories and filters – social media. It is hugely important for any successful PR and marketing strategy and it is important that both teams are contributing to the action. As long as messages, the tone of voice and imagery align, the strategy should be ‘the more the merrier’ – social media is a content hungry channel so you can never have too much. But if you do find it easier to allocate responsibilities, the easiest way to make it work for everyone is to focus the marketing team on promotion, advice and sharing the company’s existing content; and the PR team on making you look current, knowledgeable and successful by sharing coverage, topical articles and industry news.
Meeting of minds
Two teams mean double the brain power; so brainstorming, getting creative and coming up with fresh ideas should be a breeze. And the businesses that effectively team up both their marketing and PR efforts will not only find that their communications channels become easier to manage, but they will also be the ones that stay ahead of the curve and grow successfully way into the future.
Still not sure about what makes for a successful and integrated campaign? Find out what creates the building blocks of PR, to see all the elements that will get your campaign off to a flying start.