Integrating PR with marketing strategies, tactics and campaigns have the power to maximise ROI, so that messages are aligned, objectives and KPIs achieved, and the business strategy supported.
Our PR experts explain the value of integrating your PR and marketing and how to achieve closer collaboration across the two disciplines.
When PR and marketing integrate
The decision to invest in increasing brand, service, and/or product awareness is an important step. To be effective, both need a robust strategy, to identify target audiences, key messages and objectives, and identify the best platforms to deliver these.
PR and marketing already share basic goals, namely, to communicate a company’s USPs and to engage with and secure the attention of its key audiences. It therefore makes good business sense for the two to collaborate, sharing ideas and insights to support the company’s wider success.
Here are just a few of the key benefits of choosing to integrate your PR and marketing efforts:
- Enhances creativity – by working together, marketing and PR professionals can share insights on current trends which fuels creative storytelling and encourages the creation of more informed, well-rounded campaigns that will land more effectively with your target audiences across different channels. Indeed, digital PR and content creation go hand-in-hand, with PR that is supported by strong video content, infographics and interactive widgets representing added value for media outlets looking to drive readers to their websites.
- More consistent brand messaging – cross-discipline collaboration ensures better brand consistency and messaging and helps to reinforce brand presence across all communications. This is particularly important when it comes to crisis management, to ensure the same messaging is communicated via PR, social media, internal and external communications, and your website.
- Promotes time savings and efficiencies – teaming-up is an opportunity for content to be repurposed or repackaged to suit different purposes and resonate with different audiences. For example, the PR team might be able to find a killer news hook in the marketing team’s latest blog post which could help them land relevant coverage for the company. This makes for a more efficient and effective use of time and allows the full potential of content and creative ideas to be realised.
- More proactive reputation management – as previously mentioned, crisis management demands a consistent and joined-up approach, which is where integrated PR and marketing can bring a lot of value. But an integrated approach can also help to foresee potential issues before they arise or indeed, escalate. In monitoring social media, marketing professionals are on top of all the posts, comments and activity from your clients and customers, as well as breaking industry news and developments. These can not only help inform PR direction, but also provide an early indicator of potential issues which could impact on a company’s reputation.
- Better stakeholder buy-in – keeping the Board and businesses’ stakeholders – whether internal or external – on side is always important, and expected. Integrating all your communications activities will drive their engagement and support, with maximum results, and consistent market positioning for the business.
How do I integrate PR and marketing?
If marketing and PR teams work in a silo, then it is important to first set up an initial brainstorming session that will bring people and ideas into one place. Next, you can take the following steps to kick off and then maintain the partnership:
- Establish an integrated marketing and PR strategy and set of objectives which cover multiple channels and audiences.
- Create a combined tactical plan which includes events, awareness days, social media, email marketing, and any other shared opportunities.
- Set up strong lines of communication between your comms and marketing teams and arrange regular opportunities to exchange ideas.
- Combine your evaluation and measurement metrics to show true return on investment.
An integrated PR and marketing strategy is vital for businesses looking to maintain their competitive edge in today’s crowded marketplace. Whilst there are clear differences between the marketing and PR disciplines, integration can lead to more successful campaigns, proactive crisis management, consistent brand messaging, and maximum stakeholder engagement and support. Not to mention operational efficiencies.