If you work in public relations, there’s a chance people outside your field have confused what you do with advertising or even marketing. The three often operate alongside one another but are distinct and separate practices. Still, when working with a company or brand, there are ways PR professionals can glean useful insights from marketing and advertising. Here are some suggestions.
Use the marketing calendar to create timely opportunities for PR. Aligning the PR calendar with your brand’s marketing calendar and product roadmap is one of the first things our team does during the onboarding process for a new client. Product or service launches, which marketing builds into the calendar long in advance, provide the framework for when to plan certain types of media outreach, and can create synergies that are ultimately more beneficial to the client’s bottom line.
Learn from best practices for creating content. The lines between PR and content marketing have blurred. These days shared content can be something original that was never meant for eyes beyond a personal network of friends (think Alex from Target), or it can be a carefully crafted ad campaign, like the latest iteration of Always’ #likeagirl campaign that went viral practically overnight. PR content creators can make their work stronger by taking best practices from advertising creative teams. For example, what’s the optimal length for video content?
Stay ahead of trends to promote at just the right moments. Knowing what’s trending in the world of advertising and marketing can yield insights that help PR pros know when to pitch certain angles. Is Facebook about to unveil auto-play for its video content? Perhaps it’s better to time that video-sharing piece until just after the launch.
Check in with sales and marketing teams for insights on what language resonates with customers. PR centers on telling stories that engage end users, and sales and marketing teams have direct access to those customers on a regular basis. It can be very useful for communications people to hear from the front lines what types of messages are really hitting home with customers. Whether it’s metrics and data from marketing, which is constantly optimizing strategy in real time, or anecdotal stories from sales people in the field, the insights can help PR use the most powerful and appropriate language possible. That makes for powerful storytelling.