PR and Marketing: How The Two Disciplines Work Hand-in-Hand For Business Success

2024 marketing trends

We get it. Marketing managers are BUSY people.

And we feel you. In our respective specialisms we are busy doing lots of different tasks, but you, you are trying to master multiple disciplines.

I’m going to guess, however, that if you’re reading this article then there’s one discipline that’s getting less attention than the others: PR.

Sadly, PR is often overlooked in favour of other quicker wins, such as email marketing or PPC. It’s also much easier to directly attribute any outcomes of these tactics, giving you a clearer picture of the ROI.

But that doesn’t mean PR doesn’t deserve a place at the table. It’s a long-term strategy that fuels top-of-the-funnel activity and yields results over time. 

It’s also intrinsically linked to SEO in the sense that high-quality backlinks correlate to higher search rankings – providing your site is technically sound with well-written (and human-written) content, of course.

‘PR is very time-consuming though isn’t it?’

Well, yes. There’s a lot of research, ideation and writing involved. You have to stay on top of the news agenda and journalist requests on a daily basis while building media lists and then outreaching to journalists that are on those media lists. 

Help is at hand though – and it doesn’t involve you going far! Many companies will already have an internal PR department, but if not, this where freelancers and PR agencies can help, with PR and marketing effectively working towards the same goals. 

You want brand awareness, reputation, trust and leads – and so do they. The two disciplines just have different tactics and techniques to bolster these.

 

PR and marketing: two heads are better than one

Once you’ve found the right contact within your company, or preferred partner, it’s time to put your heads together and come up with a plan (to conquer the world *evil laugh*). 

Here’s where to start:

Create a comprehensive strategy

Start by thinking about your marketing goals and wider business goals. How can PR contribute to these, and how will you measure its impact? Share your existing marketing strategy with your PR department/agency and let them create a strategy that aligns as closely as possible with this. Campaigns will always be more impactful when activities between PR and marketing are synchronised.

Tactics may include:

  • Reactive PR (responding to journalist requests and relevant news)
  • Proactive PR (creating the news yourself as opposed to responding to it)
  • Thought leadership (otherwise known as expert articles or opinion pieces) 
  • Link building
  • Content marketing (on-site content which can be shared, i.e. guides, reports and whitepapers)
  • PR campaigns

Once a strategy has been agreed, set up regular calls or meetings with your PR contact. This gives both teams time to discuss ongoing campaigns, share insights, and brainstorm ideas. 

Devise a list of dream publications

Who is your audience?

What are they likely to be reading?

Where are your competitors being featured?

Where would YOU love to get coverage?

Ask yourself these questions and come up with a list of ten or so dream publications, and put some research into the types of topics and formats that each site usually covers.

Some sites will only cover news, for example, and never opinion pieces – in which case there’s no point reaching out to that publication offering them some thought leadership. Remember, not every campaign will be relevant to every media outlet; it’s a case of taking a bespoke approach. Slow and steady wins the race.

Form a good working relationship

As mentioned above, it’s a good idea to be in regular contact with your PR person.

It’s also down to you and your PR specialist to determine everyone’s roles and responsibilities in order to create a well-oiled machine.

Will it be yourself who puts together comments for the media, and creates the thought leadership articles, or is that something you’d be happy to delegate to your PR department/agency?

If you don’t consider yourself to be a strong writer, then it may be best to opt for the latter. Be sure to share any tone of voice or style guides with your contact to make it as easy as possible for them to adapt to your preferences and maintain consistency.

Be reactive as well as proactive

While your PR specialist will be scouring for opportunities every day, no one knows your industry quite like you. Be sure to let them know of anything you’ve spotted in the news that you could provide comment on, or anything you know that’s coming up which your contact could prepare for. Marketing and PR should not be siloed; the best relationships come from recognising that it’s a two-way street with the two departments working hand-in-hand to achieve business success.

 

Becca Tee

Becca Tee

Hi, I’m Becca! I am the latest addition to the Repeat Digital team, having joined to help launch the PR and content arm of the business. This is a very exciting time for Repeat and means we can now provide a holistic approach to marketing, offering a seamless and ‘hybrid’ blend of traditional PR and digital PR. After three years as a journalist, I moved to the ‘dark side’ and began my career in PR. I have experience in both traditional and digital, and have worked with a wide range of B2B and B2C clients, from small family companies to international enterprises. I love creating bespoke strategies and compelling press releases and always aspire to become an extension of my clients’ teams, not just a person they work with agency-side. Outside of work, I am a real homebird. When I’m not running around like a headless chicken after my son, or cuddling my two guinea pigs, you’ll find me at the gym, cinema, or enjoying a meal (probably at Wagamama).

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