Hiring a PR firm always sounds like a far-fetched idea until the day you decide to do so. You see, with the onset of online platforms, the need for traditional channels has been fading, to say the least. But, the difference between a good and a great brand is how they leverage it all to bring their product to the forefront.
Contrary to popular belief, Public Relations (PR) is one of the most cost-effective ways to position your business at the top of the food chain. No matter the industry you’re in, there is always an agenda that can be pushed through effective PR.
But, how does it sit within your marketing mix?
Well, ask any public relations agency New York, and they shall explain to you the following pieces of your marketing pie:
- Content Marketing
- Social Media
- Advertising (Paid Media)
- Public Relations
Now, as you see, there are 5 portions to this, and none of them can stand alone. So, here’s how PR supports the rest.
1. Aids your brand in reaching and interacting with the target audience
The core goal of all marketing initiatives is to reach your people and make them hear what you have to say. Whether it be a luxury fashion retailer or a Government body, all that they want is attention. Public Relations acts as a communication tool that finds your people right where they are. Think of it as an Above-The-Line (ATL) strategy, where multiple avenues are put in place to tap on a large section at the same time.
2. Boosts Brand Awareness and Reputation
PR is put in place to generate hype, awareness and recall on a particular subject via the distribution of messages to a specific audience demographic. Any brand that has its name published across credible news and publications is bound to create third party validation. Plus, since PR relates to earned media, the impact is long-lasting and manifold. Consistent communication further promises timely brand recall and conversions across the spectrum.
3. Helps with Relevant Messaging
Now you have a megaphone to shout into, but would it make any sense if the speech is directionless? This is where PR comes into play. Connecting a brand or a company with the target audience means there shall be a whirlwind of messages that are pushed out on a regular basis. PR helps refine this by picking up the storylines that matter the most and turning the narrative to relate to the audience personally.
4. Aids in Search Engine Optimization
What most brands and marketers dismiss as difficult is what becomes one of the biggest differentiators in the business. SEO is a no-stop train to digital success when done right. It ensures that whenever your audience is looking for something even closely related to your products or services, they find you instantaneously. But, here’s what people forget – only your website, blogs, landing pages, and social media don’t help with SEO; press releases do so too. PR has gone digital, and therefore, everything that you put online can help optimize your search engine rankings. Adding the right keywords can certainly help make a name for yourself.
5. Amplifies Your Entire Campaign
Be it any marketing campaign, paid or unpaid, PR can help boost its relevance by establishing credibility in the market. Let’s say you’re running an advertising programme on social media for your fashion company that deals in summer wear. In this scenario, while your paid ads will promote the brand directly in a sales-like manner, the PR function would think of ways to talk about it creatively. For instance, topics like the upcoming trends in summer, why summer dresses are making a comeback, and celebrities that were seen sporting a summer dress would be covered to create a buzz in the industry.
Bonus: How can Marketing and PR work better together?
- PR and marketing campaigns should be set in cooperation with one another, taking into account the synergy factors
- Brands should create a single department of “integrated communications”, letting go of the old titles and norms
- The common goals for marketing and PR should be aligned towards an outcome-based strategy
- Marketers must find win-win scenarios that gain media attention while fulfilling marketing goals
- Performance metrics should form part of both the verticals, giving a holistic picture of the organization
- Timely cross-department meetings need to be set up for understanding the cumulative projects, goals and approaches
- Integrated campaigns that repurpose content shall be the epitome of all marketing efforts
- Earned media should be included during all analysis and value measurements
- Data validation must happen at both ends of the table where messaging is decided by the PR function and delivery by the marketing channels
- The brand focus needs to be shifted to creating stories and not just bland data
The Bottom Line
Now that you know how PR and marketing go hand-in-hand, the next step is to devise a strategy that does justice to your brand voice. It is imperative to remember that both the verticals are focused on the same two things – creation and distribution of content. So, it makes sense that they should be working in harmony with one another.
Brainstorm the ideas with your teams and find out the overlap that can be streamlined for maximum consistency along with audience reach. Furthermore, where there is a pile of information that can be presented in multiple ways, pull the campaigns from it piece-by-piece, building a news-worthy buzz.