For a recent presentation at a corporate communications and PR conference, I polled my network of digital marketing and PR pros about the most pressing questions they’re dealing with when it comes to integrating Marketing and Publi...
For a recent presentation at a corporate communications and PR conference, I polled my network of digital marketing and PR pros about the most pressing questions they’re dealing with when it comes to integrating Marketing and Public Relations.
Since we’ve been working in the digital marketing and PR space at TopRank Marketing for well over 10 years, it was interesting to see the diverse feedback from companies of various sizes and industries. But several themes revealed themselves that I think our readers will relate to.
Thanks to feedback from Digital and Integrated Marketing Communications professionals like Corinne Kovalsky of Ratheon, Susan Beatty of Bremer Financial Corporation, Frank Strong of LexisNexis and Pam Didner of Intel, it became clear that one of the key questions organizations are facing is the need to break down silos between marketing and PR.
To help answer that question, I think one of the most fundamental things to realize is that we’re all in the content business.
PR and Communications drive a substantial amount of content creation from developing messaging strategy to content for newsrooms. PR content that can be optimized, socialized and publicized include: blog posts, press releases, case studies, social media content, newsletters, contributed articles, white papers, events (online and off). Whether it’s text, image, audio or video, most PR pros are involved in content creation on a regular basis.
Content is the currency for building social relationships that can boost earned media.
Digital Marketing is tasked with demand creation and developing leads, and content plays an instrumental role in those and many other marketing objectives. From content marketing strategy to websites and microsites, content is the basis for effective digital marketing. We’ve covered content marketing tactics here before, but they can include blogs, landing pages, social media content, advertising, webinars, email and all media formats from images to video to audio.
Understanding the role that content plays in reaching both brand awareness and customer acquisition goals, the opportunities for integration between digital marketing and PR become clear pretty fast.
When you look at common Public Relations focused goals, they often include: Boosting Awareness & Exposure, Influence & Positioning, Increase Mindshare, Educate Audiences, Thought Leadership, Reputation, Growing Networks & Engagement and even Increasing Sales.
Often these goals are achieved through a variety of efforts that leverage or result in content. Digital PR tactics can range from media relations to gain editorial coverage in publications to events to working with influencers and social networks. Announcements, publicity, promotions and buzz are all the domain for PR and communications professionals.
Some of the metrics digital marketers are held accountable to include increasing website traffic, leads and sales. Content Marketing goals also include revenue related objectives like order volume, frequency and profitability. Efficiency is also aligned with content marketing performance as measured by shortened sales cycles, referrals bottom line ROI on marketing investment.
Since both marketing and PR both speak “increase sales”, it make sense that PR should be involved with content marketing in its planning stages to identify what’s “really” promotable from a media relations perspective. Building publicity and media relations activities into the content marketing planning process will help marketing extend the reach of it’s message and improve marketing performance.
At the same time PR will have early exposure to promotable brand content to successfully achieve media coverage and network growth vs. trying to make magic happen with last minute requests: “Can you send out a press release and talk to some bloggers about our new product future? It was released this morning̶