PR and marketing often operate as separate functions in large organizations. That can lead to a lack of coordination and missed opportunities. PR and marketing perform much better when they work together. With coordination, they can do what they cannot do separately and improve the bottom line for the entire organization.
Marketers typically oversee and analyze data such as website visits, click-through-rates, and leads. PR traditionally handles media relations, reaching out to influencers, and crafting communications messages.
“The highest purpose of marketing is to gather and analyze customer data based on concentrated marketing-related efforts, and then to make conclusive decisions as a result,” says Rebekah Iliff is the chief strategy officer for AirPR, in Mashable. “The highest purpose of PR is to observe and listen to customers, interpret emotional responses and conversations and then create meaningful content or experiences as a result.”
How PR Drives Customers into the Sales Funnel
“I believe that by integrating PR into a marketing automation engine where you can measure conversions and results, more of a growth marketing approach, PR then becomes a powerful tool to drive customers into the sales funnel,” says Juliet Travis, founder of Liftoff Communications in a Huffington Post article.
Here’s how PR and marketing can work better together.
Share goals. Determine common goals for PR and marketing as well as other functions like social media. While their strategies differ, goals should be the same. Without results-focused objectives that match corporate goals, PR often produces content without real purpose.
Cross-department meetings. Attending meetings of other departments helps ensure that different sections know about the projects, goals and campaigns of other groups. Have at least one member of each group attend meetings of the other team.
Develop integrated campaigns. PR can support lead generation and paid campaigns. For example, PR can use data from an industry or consumer survey to secure media coverage, and later repurpose the data for content marketing such as blog posts and e-books, social programs, email campaigns and paid lead generation and advertising efforts.
Comprehensive monitoring and measurement. Marketers typically gather and analyze data related to sales and leads. They may not always include earned media in their analysis. Leads and sales might abruptly increase during a large PR campaign or even after a single high-profile media mention. Aligning a coordinated marketing campaign with PR victories can increase sales even more. To sufficiently measure PR’s contribution to corporate goals, it’s important that PR work with the marketing team before, during and after an announcement or campaign launch.
Share information. Because customers often research products online before purchases, PR content creators have become pre-salesmen. Marketing can inform PR about the types of content, messages and delivery channels that best drive customers to purchases. PR, in turn, can listen to influencers and customers in an attempt to validate that data and report what they learn to marketing.
Use data to inform, but not to dictate content. Particularly in technology PR, people mistakenly believe articles should be stuffed with data like media pitches to reporters, says Dorothy Crenshaw of Crenshaw Communications. However, most people remember stories better than data.
Build a business case. Measuring results can demonstrate the value of PR and marketing collaboration and build a business case to present to management. “Find a low hanging fruit opportunity with motivated collaborators to show how digital marketing and PR integration can improve achievement of business goals,” advises Lee Odden, CEO of Top Rank Marketing. “Then sell the results with performance metrics that execs can appreciate.”
Have fun together. Lunches, outings and celebrations with different departments can build camaraderie. Having fun together helps build trust among team members and ensures that people feel comfortable leaning on each other for support.
Bottom Line: PR and marketing professionals can improve the measurement performance of both of their departments by working together closely. If they demonstrate their value through better measurement, they will both win praise from upper management and approval of larger budgets.
This article was first published on the Glean.info blog.