Where Does PR Fit Into Your Marketing Strategy?
Public relations and marketing used to be like oil and water, two separate entities that didn't mix. There was a set PR team and a set marketing team, and brands needed both to succeed. PR and marketing firms had two sets of goals and thus two separate ways of reaching and achieving said goals. The rise of digital media, however, has led to blending between the two practices.
Traditional PR is focused on creating a strong, powerful brand image primarily via print and television. PR teams work on brand awareness and recognition, ensuring consumers form a positive association with a brand. For example, American Express established Small Business Saturday to promote shopping the day after Black Friday. Dove created a campaign for Real Beauty to put body positivity in the forefront of user's minds. These were strong, long-lived campaigns formed by PR agencies.
Marketing's main prerogative, on the other hand, has always been focusing on consumers and building a strong consumer base. This leads to an increase of revenue and sales. Marketers tend to respond to a brand's requests, as opposed to PR, which puts forward ideas more proactively. As you can see, there are a lot of nuances to PR and marketing and how they work together today. However, you'll soon learn the benefits of including both in your brand-building portfolio.
A Blending of PR and Marketing
Today, PR and marketing are interconnected. The lines of distinction have crossed partially due to digital marketing, social media, and influencer marketing. A marketer can connect with an influencer via Instagram and create a brand positive campaign just like a PR agency used to do.
Partially because of these changes, alongside evolving technology, digital PR emerged. This practice focuses on using online media to amplify a brand in the market. The distinguishing factor between digital PR and traditional PR is ensuring a company is well established from an online point-of-view.
Digital PR provides value to consumers, which is why many individuals come across these campaigns without realizing it. The content is highly linkable and SEO-driven, meaning audiences are more easily finding the content. Additionally, the type of content produced tends to be engaging and interactive. For these reasons, digital PR services are a worthwhile supplement to your traditional PR and marketing tactics.
One major distinction of digital PR -- and a reason why many don't even realize they are consuming it -- is that it isn't salesy. There is no "buy now" or "click here" button. Instead, the brand is interwoven into the strategy in a seamless, non-obtrusive way. When accomplished well, digital PR is a true blend of traditional PR along with content marketing and SEO.
How Digital PR Fits into Your Overall Strategy
Now, you may be wondering how digital PR, traditional PR, and marketing mesh together and enhance one another. Well, it's a good question and one that is in flux as new technologies and platforms emerge. A digital PR strategy accounts for additional factors not considered in traditional marketing or PR. These professionals look at search rankings and external links and take social media and other online channels into account. They ensure a brand's authority comes through online.
Brands today need a strong digital PR presence to stand out from competitors. Consumers' attention spans are short, and it takes about eight touchpoints before a lead turns into a sale. You may be thinking this is quite a few interactions, and it is. This stat proves that each and every interaction with a consumer is not only important but critical to brand recognition.
A (Tasty) Real Life Example
By incorporating all three of these tactics, new brands are able to create consumer demand quickly. Deux, for example, a plant-based food company that creates better-for-you cookie dough, was established in 2020. While the demand for tasty, healthy treats was rising, getting the message out about Deux meant they needed a strategic awareness approach.
Through a digital PR lens, the company focused on cultivating their Instagram and TikTok followers via influencer partnerships and collaborations with like-minded brands. Sweats and the City influencers Eliz and Dale hopped on board as well as brands such as Summer Fridays and The Skinny Confidential. Today, the brand has nearly 100K followers across both platforms.
Through influencer and brand collabs along with a feature on Shark Tank, the company exploded and created a buzz in the digital food space. In January, the company also used out-of-home marketing efforts to build awareness. "Honk if You Like it Raw" billboards certainly stopped traffic and alluded to the brand's witty sense of humor. Traditional PR efforts were used to secure the television spot on Shark Tank and podcast interviews with their founder and CEO.
Bringing It All Together
As the Deux example proves, digital PR, traditional PR, and marketing are different tools at your disposal. You and your team can tap into different tactics for various needs. You may find that a traditional PR move works well for one specific campaign. Or you may want to augment it with a digital PR campaign. With both of these PR pushes, your marketing strategies will hopefully convert consumers efficiently. Thinking of these strategies independently, but also as interwoven, will serve you and your brand well.