When your in-house marketing team hears you’re thinking about bringing on a public relations agency, odds are they will be a bit nervous or potentially miffed. Even if they know that wider outreach and media relations are critical to your brand’s growth and public image, knowing your moving from a DIY to a professional PR approach can make marketing pros feel as if they are now having to bow down to a foreign company that doesn’t know the company and its brand like they do.
This is entirely understandable. And, the truth remains that brands experience greater recognition, growth, and exposure when public relations and marketing teams work together. Helping your marketing team to understand this will be a symbiotic relationship and finding a PR agency that is compassionate and works in collaboration with your marketing team is key to the process.
In a SpinSucks article about the importance of collaborative public relations and marketing efforts, author Jessica Canfield writes, “…[PR and marketing teams] share similar goals of building the brand and engaging audiences. And their complementary skills allow them to collaborate on rich, engaging content that drives results.”
So, while they probably shouldn’t share an office, it is essential that they work together to achieve their overarching goals.
Marketing Data Is Essential To Your Public Relations Efforts
While this is not necessarily the priority for the PR team, we think appealing to the marketing team’s prowess is a smart way to go about the transition. If they have done a great job at tracking benchmarks, data, and analytics, they have already done so much to help the incoming PR team.
A few years back, The International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) co-hosted a Measurement Week in NYC where attendees listened to multiple industry leaders speak about how integral marketing professionals and their statistics are to the PR cause when it comes to measuring the results of our efforts.
These statistics are invaluable for looking at where you are, helping your PR team to shape where you want to go or what you’d like to change, and then working together to get there. As the PR professionals work to generate new promotional outlets, reframe your story (if necessary), and to gain more media attention, your marketing team will be helping to share, promote, and celebrate the increased audience and will have the data to reflect whether or not “it is working.”
Public relations professionals need to know:
- Are they working?
- Where they are working?
- Which target audiences respond to, engage with, or share certain stories, events, or launches.
Without your marketing team’s hard work and metric data to analyze, we would be firing blind. So, first and foremost, your marketing team should always feel essential to the PR cause.
Engage with audience members across “the right” social media channels
In a TrendKite article, PR and tech expert Lacy Miller wrote, “PR will always be about brand reputation and storytelling but that does not mean the technical aspects of the practice can be ignored,” emphasizing that public relations agencies will increasingly rely on marketing automation, social listening, SEO, measurement and PR tools throughout all campaigns.”
This is a good segue from our former point about analytics because successful analytics rely on knowing which social media channels or platforms are the most useful at any particular moment and for specific campaigns and goals.
A large majority of public relations professionals have a love of marketing and promotion but it is viewed through the lens of journalism and media. We are media relations whizzes, and we can amplify your story through our experience-driven connections. Your marketing team has similar “connections” in the technology world in the sense they typically have their fingers on the pulse of the most happening social media platforms of the moment. They also have a data-based awareness of where particular target audience members spend the most time.
As we work to create different pitches and angles to frame your story – selling it to new prospects and building loyalty within your existing customer base – we rely heavily on your marketing team’s inside-scoop about which channels are the most active, which ones feel best for starting a particular conversation, the best voice or tone to use in the media, etc.
Create a streamlined, value-driven content marketing strategy
Sure, some people sit down to watch the evening news, but most rely on their personal networks and the content-driven, 24-hours news feed to remain informed. Thus, traditional PR pitches fall flat because even the tried-and-true journalists know to only promote content that will inspire audience engagement. Similarly, content creation is what breathes life, energy, and continued engagement into successful campaigns.
As a result, the Content is King mantra continues to prevail. Written content is the way most of us receive our information these days, and while your PR team can create content all day long, it’s always a major bonus to work with a savvy marketing team as we create streamlined, value-drive content marketing strategies in a synergizing way. In the aforementioned SpinSucks article, Jessical Miller states, “PR reaches new audiences and builds company credibility through third-party validation.”
Content marketing keeps audience members engaged with your brand and that’s essential to continuing the good work the public agency will continue to do on your behalf.
How public relations and marketing work together?
The best way to ensure your PR and marketing teams work together is to build the bridge as fast as possible and continue to foster communication and relationship between the two departments.
If you are contracting with a PR agency, they will have their own brick-and-mortar office, so sharing space isn’t an option. However, it is perfectly reasonable to bring the two teams together from the get-go as the PR firm begins to download the ins-and-outs and nuances of your brand. Once they are completely onboarded, keep the communication channels open and collaborative. Set the tone that this is a partnership or a symbiotic relationship and continue to make sure that’s the case.
You can do this by including both teams in strategy meetings, having a monthly working lunch where they can share their experiences and throw out ideas, or hosting weekly team huddles (Zooming is always an option) with clear itineraries and goals. You’d be amazed at what a well-designed 30-minute meeting can bring about.
Public Relations And Marketing Make A Winning Team
Would you like to hire a PR firm that understands how invaluable it is for public relations and marketing to work together to achieve success? Contact us here at Segal Communications.