Conversations between associates and friends in the industry usually lead to wonderful insights. You get to learn about how others are going about their business. Sometimes you hear strange things that to them sound so normal, so right. For instance, we got a chance to talk a very successful businessman who said marketing and PR are just the same. We thought otherwise, but we thought again.
Although it seems logical to think that these aspects of business can be lumped together in a single entity. The closer you examine them, the more you see their distinct features, thus making you think they are different operations operating hand in hand. We begin to see them as complementary processes, rather than a fusion of processes as one. The moment we see it that way, that’s the moment we understand the crucial value of PR in digital marketing.
Recognizing such differences is necessary in funneling your marketing budget. Suppose you have $20,000 for marketing and you’re wondering where that should go. You may be thinking perhaps to funnel most of it in either marketing or PR, ignoring the idea that maybe you can make a balanced budgeting that meets goals and stimulates real growth.
Then we talk about enhancing one using the other, in this case using PR to enhance digital marketing.
1. Coordination is the key
And that is of particular necessity in big companies. In small business, the marketer and PR specialist may be a single person or part of the same team. In large companies, they are different department with discrete operations. Early on, it’s necessarily for these entities to “see” each other to know what each other is doing. Having said that, it’s crucial for you to hire people who can work with each other.
2. You can’t have coordination without communication
Early on, your responsibility includes overseeing communication among people in your team. Each person will certainly face issues in their respective departments. Your marketer may have a hard time implementing influencer marketing. Your PR staff may not be coming up with effective content to drive brand awareness. But keep in mind that the work as a whole is teamwork. Make sure everyone is communicating with everyone else to understand each other’s issues and challenges and come up with holistic solutions.
3. Planning involves asking the right questions
How is your business doing? What areas are lagging behind? What areas need key changes? You have to see and understand the challenges and issues before you can do something about them. The first step is often crucial in creating a solid vision for your business. Then you have to ask the question all business people should ask: Who are your audience? The right PR has content that resonates well with your audience. Where on the web do these people spend much of their online time? What’s the best way to communicate with them?
4. Content marketing and PR go hand in hand
In fact, content marketing goes hand in hand with many other forms of marketing. It’s impossible to think of fostering brand awareness and customer acquisition without the right content. Who is delivering your content? Do you have a copywriter? In many cases, that’s enough. Sometimes, you need to tap into the power of journalism, advertising, or influencer marketing to either generate or spread your message across the web. Good content marketing strategies and PR are an ideal tandem.
5. Building your reputation takes time
This is one truth you have to understand. Many companies think any form of publicity is good. A controversy, a fad, or a viral video may work for your publicity. Paying for a popular media outlet to feature may work, too. But publicity is not the same as public relations. That has to be emphasized. Many businesses and advertisers conflate the two and thus apply risky ideas to trembling startups, often ending up disastrously.
6.Publicity isn’t everything
Publicity is, after all, a consequence or an objective. What you should be aiming at is positive publicity, news that puts your brand in a good light. If a PR content inspires people, uses humor to amuse people or make them laugh, or sends compelling knowledge, then its potential to be shared around and give your brand the traction it needs is high. Good publicity is good publicity. Pardon the tautology, but it has to be emphasized. Although people say that bad publicity is still publicity, they miss the fact that bad publicity creates damage to your company’s reputation that’s sometimes impossible to repair. Popularity that takes the form of people using your brand as a joke in memes may just do your brand in.
7. Patience is a virtue
Like any aspect of marketing, PR doesn’t create wonders overnight. More importantly, the success of PR relies heavily on every other aspect of your business. It’s not practical to look at solely at the success of a single process, in this case public relations. Look at your overall marketing structure and what your PR tactics are contributing to it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re able to create publicity now. If the other factors suffer from bad implementation (e.g. bad content and deceptive advertising), that publicity may be only short lived.