The secrets that PR can teach marketers

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One of the secrets that PR can teach marketers is that Marketing and PR really are not that different from each other.  Where they do differ, they can complement each other—yet historically speaking, these two disciplines don’t often get along with each other. The relationship within organizations between their marketing and PR departments (where they have a relationship that is) is often marred by bickering over resources.

In today’s competitive business environment and constantly changing communication landscape, organizations can’t afford to perpetuate this animosity. It’s time to build bridges over the chasm between PR and marketing and collaborate together.

Believe it or not, PR can teach us marketers a lot. For starters, PR folks were the original content marketers and they can help you unleash the power of storytelling in your marketing materials. Stories are one of the most influential means of communicating a message and they are vehicles that all marketers should be using.

While traditional marketing was built around campaigns (and the still have their place), social media is changing how we practice marketing. With social media, conversation is replacing campaigns. PR folks already think in terms of conversation and relationship-building and they can help us adapt our approach to fit the social space better.

Another lesson we can learn from PR, is how to do more with less. Given today’s shrinking budgets, this is a skill we can all use. One of the ways PR and marketing differ, is that PR has always been about telling a brand’s story for free, by placing stories about the company in the media, while we have typically relied on more expensive options, like placing ads. So, let’s take some pages from PR’s playbook and take advantage of the free exposure we can get for our brands in the media.

Newsjacking is a great way to get free exposure. To newsjack is to inject your brand or product into a breaking news story in some fashion. Oreo did fantastic newsjack during the power outage at the Superbowl and got a ton of positive attention for it.

Another thing you can try is a free service called Help A Reporter Out. HARO connects reporters desperate for sources to interview with experts like yourselves is it is a great way to dip your toe into the PR waters.

PR pros can help us marketers in a variety of ways, but this is a two-way street. If marketing, with all its data and metrics, is a science, then PR, which has less quantifiable objectives, is more of an art. We can help our PR brothers and sisters with two of their biggest headaches: the role of data and analytics and how to quantify and measure ROI.

Marketers, go forth and collaborate with the PR folks in your organization! Together, you can create an authentic brand narrative combined with analytical insights and conquer the world. Or at least your sector of the market.

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