Marketers and public relations professionals used to be extremely segregated. Where one was responsible for coordinating trade shows, sending email campaigns, designing direct mail flyers and buying lists, the other was building clip books, calling on journalists and strategically elevating the public exposure of a brand through award wins, speaking opportunities and press release announcements.
When David Meerman Scott first pronounced how the ‘rules have changed’ so too did the roles and not overly what the responsibilities were but how we go about fulfilling those responsibilities to reach goals. It’s more and more common to see public relations firms providing content strategies and even launching and running social media campaigns for their clients.
Here are a few ‘marketing’ tools and how they have been adopted by both marketers and public relations professionals to reach their respective goals.
Ask Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi or C.C. Chapman and they will all tell you that marketers are taking on the role of publisher. Content has provided companies with a whole new way of generating leads by providing thoughtful, useful, quality content. This not only aides in driving leads to sales but in cultivating relationships and supporting customer loyalty programs.
Goal: Lead generation, resource center
Public relations professionals have also seen the power of content and the exposure and publicity a great piece of research can garner. As journalists and reporters seek to unveil new data and trends, research reports have become a vital component of the PR strategy. In addition, while the formal press release still has its place in the media, journalists are requesting more content in the form of videos and podcasts.
Goal: Thought leadership, journalist need fulfillment
Social Media Marketing
Social media has become widestream and it’s evident to marketers that it has provided a unique opportunity to connect with millions of people in real-time. Using this tool, marketers are generating leads, generating demand and building customer loyalty. In addition, social media provides a gateway to the insights of customer and potential customers by providing the marketer with information regarding interests, likes, dislikes and challenges.
Goal: Lead generation and customer loyalty
PR pros are also now turning to social media to compliment their efforts in other areas. They have recognized that this is a key element to building relationships with journalists and reporters on these communication platforms. In addition, by running campaigns for their corporate clients, they are able to bridge their efforts to build awareness and increase visibility of their client in these channels.
Goal: Increase visibility, build awareness, enhance public image of client company
While brands continue to require professionals in both roles, I see the likeness between the two getting greater and greater not only in using the same types of tools but reaching the audience in the way the audience wants to be reached.
A common example is reaching those ‘influencers’ that your target listens to. Once it was a big deal to get mentioned in the Wall Street Journal (it still it by the way!) but is your audience listening to the Wall Street Journal reporter or the influencer who consistently provides thought leadership and guidance? Social media and content will play a vital role to gain the attention of this group and much more.
What do you think the difference is between marketing and PR? Is it more than just the way they use these tools?
About the Author
Christina Pappas is Sr. Inbound Social Marketing Manager at Zmags. She is primarily responsible for using social media channels to ‘spread the word’ about Zmags and the company’s long-standing knowledge of the digital media space. She received her BA in Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University and is presently living in Beverly, MA with her bunny, Martini. Contact her on Twitter.
- PR By Another Name: Public Relations and the “New” Competition (crenshawcomm.com)
- The 4 A’s Of Social Marketing Success (searchengineland.com)