If you have been involved in the PR and Marketing field for quite some time now, you might have encountered a parallel between the former and science and art. In this context PR is considered the art while marketing – the science.
Traditionally, marketing is a business activity, focused on promoting and selling a specific product, whereas PR is more of a communication process, which aims to build a positive relationship between a company and its audience. Again, alluding to the comparison with science and art – just like these two disciplines, PR and Marketing attempt to understand the people and the world around us. Methods might be different, but the goals are fundamentally the same.
In the past, PR and Marketing departments used to work separately. However, in today’s overly connected, technology – driven world, the two corresponding fields seem to find a common ground in order to achieve the best possible results. What’s even more – the slightest disconnection between the two can lead to failure.
This is only one of the many reasons why many professionals predict that the collision of PR and Marketing will finally result in the merge of the two. Hence, there are couple of ways in which PR and Marketing can work together in order to integrate and execute successful campaigns.
First of all, effective campaigns are well planned straight from the very beginning. That being said, shared goals should be determined from early on. As previously mentioned, while strategies may differ, end goals have to be the same. And with the right set of result-oriented objectives, one of the areas where PR and Marketing work best hand-hand is content generation.
In today’s informationally saturated online and offline worlds, even the properly targeted messages find it hard to reach the right audiences. Therefore, it comes as no a surprise that consumers have become experts when it comes to recognizing unauthentic material. However, it is not only the customers who have developed this skill – journalists and other media professionals are also quite able to differentiate inappropriate content. Thus, they will not publish it – seems like a vicious circle, doesn’t it?
Still, there are strategies that assist in dealing with such issues. Just like Ogilvy PR’s David Carlson mentioned in an interview: “People’s attention spans are getting shorter, but there are a lot more ways to get your message out there.”
Undoubtedly, developing trusted relationships with key media and influencers is a bedrock in executing successful business strategies. Any PR professional will tell you that these mutually beneficial relations are of key importance for a brand. While combining PR and content marketing, you are giving more impactful and readymade content to the media. Therefore, you share relevant content both across the media and especially, the audience – an approach that increases your chances to be spotted while attracting attention. Nowadays the customers need to feel understood both on an “emotional” and “functional” levels. What is more, one of the most recent trends in building brand relationships is connected to the fact that the customers prefer companies, which take a stand – be it their position on a hot social issue or simply by sharing their in-house insights as well as ideas.
Still, the aforementioned tactics are relevant when considering person-to-person relationship. However, when sharing a message from their own communication channels, PR professionals and marketeers should work and craft messages that avoid the “Click Here! Buy Now!” mentality. The call-to-action has to go beyond while building trust, reputation, and awareness. In other words, successful content marketing is not about self-promotion – it is about storytelling. Here comes one of the roles of PR: to think of ways to communicate and share the message across all suitable channels.
It must be outlined that most of the discussed topics relate to the creative side of the business. But how are we to spin and properly target a message, if we do not know who are we talking to? If we are to come back to the comparison of PR and Marketing with science and art, here comes the need for science (think data).
One of the biggest trends for 2019 is exactly the data-driven creative. It enables brands and agencies to deliver personalized messages to consumers from the initial interaction with the brand to the final stage of the sales funnel when they are ready to complete a purchase. Hence, Data & Insights driven strategies are the best example of data and creative that work in sync while assisting in monitoring and understanding what and how is being said about your brand.
However, it must be outlined that having gathered the needed data is only the first step. Becoming insight driven requires to close the gap between data and its added value. This process is more and more challenging due to the pool of available data being ever-growing. Therefore, only after an in-depth data analysis is conducted, the appropriate insights and actions are to be executed and undertaken. Here is where the methods blend because sometimes the proposed strategy is more of a PR and creative point of view but still based on science and data.
These have only been some of the many ways in which PR and Marketing can work together in order to create successful fully-integrated campaigns. As a conclusion, one must say that the merge of Marketing and PR is inevitable, however, it will take time to define where one begins and the other ends.