Trends in the integration of marketing and public relations, our latest whitepaper by Stephen Waddington, features insight from thought leaders across the two functions… though, are the two really separate?
The crossover between the sectors has been under debate for at least 50 years and this conversation will likely continue as they further evolve. Here are seven takes on why close connections between comms and marketing is a positive for businesses and brands.
1) Success is the ultimate aim, not separation
‘Senior professionals in traditionally structured companies love to create silos. In commercial life, caring about definitions or silos is usually in inverse proportion to the importance of the task’ – Tony Langham, executive chair and co-founder of Lansons.
2) Close connection means the creation of good ideas
‘You need to be comfortable in asking for support from other operational functions, where they have expertise, as good ideas can come from anywhere. Openness and respect are also the key to having a collaborative working environment. You can spot the brands where marketing and PR are tightly integrated and work well together side by side. Especially when there is a crisis situation or a brand needs to respond quickly’ – Lexie Jenkins, senior press officer & publicist at Costa Coffee.
3) Collaboration opens up opportunities across teams
‘Ideas can come from anywhere […] That’s a tremendous opportunity for the communication team. It unlocks resources that it might not otherwise have been able to access’ – Suman Hughes, director of communications, UK for Mastercard.
4) Marketing and comms already share goals
‘Brand and product messaging are fundamental to both marketing and communications. They lie at the heart of how an organisation differentiates itself and engages with its markets’ – Ruth Jones, founder and managing director of 3THINKRS.
5) Social media management flows directly into sales
‘A modern crisis typically starts with an issue on social media. Monitoring provides an early warning signal. The social media team often acts as a first responder on customer services issues and matters that might otherwise escalate into a crisis to internal operational teams’ – Tamara Littleton, founder and CEO of The Social Element.
6) Marketing measurements can proof the efficacy of public relations
‘Clicks, comments and downloads can all be analysed as part of a customer journey. We can connect digital earned media with actions such as behaviour change and sales’ – said Shayoni Lynn, founder and CEO of Lynn PR.
7) Want to target influencers and editors? You may have them within your marketing team already…
‘We used to have a stakeholder group of 20 to 30 editors that we worked with around the world. Now social media has meant that everyone is now an editor’ – James Andrew, executive director – communications & PR at Group Lotus.
The global pandemic has underlined the importance of comms and marketing teams for the overall success of businesses and brands in communicating to their audiences and client-bases. When teams are under increased pressure to perform and prove their worth, the finding of efficiencies and quick wins are even more important. While there are definitely differences and lines between comms and marketing, closer collaboration can mean stronger campaigns, content planning and crisis management.
Not particularly close with your marketing department/team/in-house expert? Maybe it’s time to set up a virtual brainstorming session over coffee.
For more interesting statistics and facts on the integration of marketing and public relations, download the full white paper here.