At an organization’s core, public relations and marketing are separate entities. However, in order for a brand to be successful for a sustainable period of time, their PR and marketing strategies need to complement one another. Organizations that have an objective and value proposition that is consistent in their PR and marketing efforts will be set-up best for long-term success. While there are many factors that distinguish the day-to-day work in each profession, so too are there commonalities. Moreover, these departments are not mutually exclusive; marketers and PR professionals need to work collaboratively within an organization.
The commercials we see on television, the newsletters and e-blasts we receive in our inboxes, the posters we see on the subway, and the advertising dollars that go into the digital media space, must all contribute to the positive reputation of a brand and ultimately reach the right consumer.
By looking at a brand’s “organic” and “paid” content strategy on social media, we can see a prime example of why PR and marketing need to work together. A brand’s “organic” content can be broken down as the posts we see when we visit a company’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or YouTube profile. In contrast, a brand’s “paid” content is the sponsored advertisements that we may see when scrolling through our feeds on these social media platforms.
All of us see advertisements on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds for products or services that catch our eye. Sometimes we have heard of the company whose advertisement pops up on our feed and sometimes we haven’t. Imagine an up and coming brand’s advertisement on Facebook captured the interest of a potential consumer because of a witty line their copywriter wrote. However, what happens when the consumer visits that company’s Facebook page they find that company is only posting on big holidays or May the Fourth be with you to be cool for Star War’s fans or silly videos that are not on brand or posts that are far too salesy in their content? These sorts of posts may do little to maintain the interest of the consumer, which could lead to them going on about their day as if they never saw that advertisement.
It would be a shame if someone were to come up with a product/service that fulfills a real need for a certain group of people, however when it came down to it, they didn’t know how to interact with their target consumer. When developing a brand’s PR and marketing strategies, it is important that we understand how to engage consumers, interact with industry professionals and influencers, and establish the brand as a thought leader. Brand’s marketing and PR initiatives need to align so the brand can be solidified as an expert and authority within their industry. “The goal of thought leadership marketing is not to create sales heavy content, rather to provide entry point to one’s business by branding yourself as an expert.
When strategizing with my colleagues at the digital marketing agency I work at, I often mention Andrew Davis
’s social sharing strategy, the 4-1-1 rule when discussing organic content. The 4-1-1 rule describes 4 pieces of curated content that are relevant to your brand and audience, 1 piece of your own content like a blog that helps your audience and demonstrates your expertise, and 1 piece of sales-related content for your product or service like a coupon, press release, or limited-time offer. When employing this strategy, the company’s marketing and public relations professionals both need to be involved in order to really establish the brand as a thought-leader, manage the reputation of the brand, and drive revenue.
I focused my piece on why PR and marketing professionals can work better together in the social media space; however, cooperation really needs to be present from day one of a brand’s existence. If your PR and marketing departments have a separate message and purpose, then the company will not be set-up for long-term success, regardless of how great the product or service may be. Ensuring a brand’s PR and marketing departments are communicating a unified message is necessary to achieve and sustain success.
Digital Marketing Specialist at Elite Digital Inc.