Where PR and Marketing Meet: Why PR and Marketing Need Each Other More Than Ever [Part 1]
In my former life as a marketing and public relations person at a small webcasting company in Toronto, the fact that these two roles were separate really didn't occur to me.
For many communications “jack-of-all-trades” types at SMBs and start-ups, it's just as common to crank out a press release as it is to be running the company's Google AdWords campaigns.
It wasn't until we got swallowed up by a global conglomerate that it became abundantly clear that in the enterprise, PR and marketing run in tandem but have very different roles.
Fast forward ten years, and this dynamic is rapidly evolving. In this two-part series, we'll explore the reasons why PR and marketing professionals need one another now more than ever, and we’ll talk about some of the ways they can combine efforts to drive better business outcomes.
Let's start by looking at some of the challenges each professional is facing within the enterprise.
Marketing's Trust Problem
For the marketer today, the digital ad targeting offered by Facebook and Google can pinpoint an audience down to the finest of details. But this level of personalization has turned into a double-edged sword.
A recent survey from InMoment indicated that 75% of consumers think most forms of digital ad personalization are at least "somewhat creepy." Let’s be honest: at one point, someone you know has probably said their smartphone is “listening” to them due to how personalized an ad was.
Meanwhile, on the enterprise front, the same survey found that 40% of brands admitted that they use personalization tactics that make consumers feel uncomfortable.
Proving that you can, indeed, have too much of a good thing, this kind of targeting has created a serious trust problem for marketers today—one they'll need the reputation-building skills of PR colleagues to repair.
PR's Measurement Challenge
The challenge on the PR side of the house is different, but no less significant.
Stewards of a brand's reputation, masters of networking with journalists, and ninjas at timing the right story at the right time, PR has long defied wider trends in the enterprise that push toward more measurable outcomes. After all, how do you really measure something as ephemeral as "reputation?"
This dynamic is rapidly changing, with a recent AMEC survey revealing that 63% of PR professionals are dissatisfied with the ability to demonstrate the impact of communications on business outcomes.
With a myriad of inferior metrics—like "potential reach" or "potential views"—at their disposal, the PR function within the enterprise is being pushed towards delivering better measurement. And for this, they're going to need their colleagues in marketing more than ever before.
The Dynamics of Enterprise Communications Have Changed
In addition to the core challenges, there are other factors creating a perfect storm that will push PR and marketing join forces in the years ahead.
- PR is increasingly reporting into the CMO's office. This shift in the structure of organizations will increase the call for alignment in messaging and metrics.
- The PESO model (Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned) that forms the cornerstone of communications requires PR and marketing to speak with a common voice. This is critical to achieving the kind of shared and earned media that drives results.
- The evolution of the digital media landscape, the rise of social media and the role of influencers. In enterprise communications, these three things are pulling PR and marketing closer together with every tweet, blog post and press release.
Consider this together, and the case for better-aligning your PR and marketing teams becomes clear. Ensuring that your company is speaking with one voice and conveying the same, aligned message is a critical component to the success of both your brand's reputation and your sales funnel.
In our next installment, we'll build on the why we established here and look more deeply into the ways in which PR and marketing can align and combine efforts to drive better results for your business.
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