Over time, it has become more common for companies to integrate public relations into their marketing plan. Why? Because each method of communication is impactful in its own way and can complement each other well when executed correctly.
At the end of the day, it’s about reaching your audience. Whether you’re selling a good or service, messaging is important. What marketing can provide differs from PR, but both have the same goal of connecting with a certain audience. With PR, you can build trust with your audience. You’re telling a story and maintaining positive relationships with those that have an interest in the brand. Whereas marketing aims to reach both current and potential customers, and is often accomplished through direct sales and advertising.
While SEO used to be a marketing-focused initiative, the process has poured over into public relations as well. A variety of media can play into SEO’s success. Every business owner wants their website to rank high in search engine results, which ultimately drives more traffic to the site. And with more traffic comes more business. This can be accomplished through SEO strategies. With the right tools, you can discover the demographic of people visiting a site, how often they stay on the site and much more. Google Analytics is a great option for keeping track of a constantly evolving system!
But public relations can positively affect SEO as well. With earned media, there’s an opportunity to link a company’s website within the article, which can then backlink to the page you want your target audience to see. Think about the last time you read an article about travel. (A personal favorite.) While you were reading it, you could almost taste the food at the hotel’s restaurant (linked), see the beach from your hotel room’s balcony (linked) and feel the air flow through your hair as you rode along the coastline in your rental car (linked). Each individual website would have benefited from this one piece of earned media coverage.
What’s great about marketing and public relations is that they can be beneficial to one another long-term. PR professionals can easily support lead generation and paid campaigns by using stats from industry reports or customer surveys in their outreach. And this information can also easily transfer into case studies, social media content and blog posts. It’s important to determine goals between both marketing and PR departments at the beginning of any campaign, launch, etc. Even though strategies may differ, the company’s goals should remain the same.
The field of communication evolves frequently. Think about how often we learn of a new social platform or a social platform receives an update. And now, think 10 years down the road. 20 years down the road. As people, we’re going to constantly evolve, as will our marketing and PR efforts. And to ensure that both departments are at their strongest, it’s recommended that they work cohesively. Otherwise, missed opportunities are likely to occur. According to the 2018 Global Communications Report, 82% of in-house PR professionals and 90% of PR agency professionals foresee PR becoming more integrated with marketing over the next five years.
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