PR and Marketing: Worlds that Merge to Unite
By: Linda Hassall
Today, the world of PR, marketing and advertising are connected in more than one way – all of which are complex and granular. Amidst the grand celebration of talent and creativity the three industries offer, we witness how the emergence of distinct worlds increasingly collaborate to create the ultimate success for a business.Brands now understand that intelligent coordination between advertising, PR and marketing can bring credibility, consistency and greater visibility to their corporate communication messages.
Irrespective of the multiple developments taking place through technology and other means, within these individual sectors there are some common grounds, all three mentioned divisions overlap on.
Let’s have a closer look at some of these similarities:
Within each sector, there is a hidden art: to tell a compelling narrative – which has a beginning, middle and end. We have witnessed this to be the pivotal point where often the worlds of PR, advertising and marketing merge to create this magic.
Moreover, a study from USC Annenberg Centre found that PR professionals have identified storytelling as the most crucial campaign tool in the near future. However, the avenues for reaching customers have multiplied tremendously in recent years, making it vastly more difficult for PR to understand where to tell that story.
This is where marketers excel. Through data analysation, marketing can identify and predict where the company’s message will be heard the most. Working closely together ensures a sound narrative for its audiences.
Overall, a brand’s story is not just something businesses should refer to every time they launch a marketing campaign. It should be the foundation on which a future growth strategy is built. Often, when it comes to creating that engaging story, the marketing teams work closely with the advertising/PR teams to deliver a polished product that obtains longevity and restores purpose for the brand.
After all, a good story, told in the most effective manner is guaranteed to remain impactful.
Creativity at its peak
This year, Cannes Lions celebrated the ‘diversity’ and ‘creativity’ of ideas like never before. An example of this unity displayed through a segment hosted by industry leaders on “Courageous Conversations” in pursuit to break all barriers associated with our respective industry and celebrate creativity.
They came together on various topics to discuss the art of diversity and creativity, which lies within this industry and how to further encourage this movement to grow.
In any campaign, agencies understand that creativity must be at the forefront of the project. From designers to copywriters, if the story or campaign is to stand strong and captivate its audience, each profession must bring their creativity to the table. The PR world has never valued creativity this much before.
Although each sector brings its individualism in the form of different ideas, they are united in the name of creativity.
They complement each other
We are witnessing more integrated campaigns than ever before. For example, PR now supports lead generation and paid campaigns in the following way: They use data from an industry or consumer survey to secure media coverage and later repurpose the data for content marketing.
This shows how at different stages of a campaign, each offering provided from a particular sector is almost co-dependant on the other. If a campaign is to make an impact in this day and age, the idea has to be collaborative across all disciplines.
Every sector is attempting to accomplish one key aim – spread a message or awareness. At each stage of any given campaign, the significance of the various sectors (be it marketing or advertising or PR) come to life in accordance to their subject expertise.
For example, the process starts by the marketing team defining the narrative, they give it its spin by using advertising skills, charm and they leave PR to complete the last mile. Just think of milk and cookies – they just go together and similarly so do these sectors.
The harmony between agencies is what often results in the creation of those gem of campaigns, which receive appreciation and rewards year on year.We must respect the distinctions as well
Does this mean all marketing/PR teams are the same? No two teams are ever the same.
They are differentiated through their people, offerings and, in turn, create value and distinction: This may mean devising a particular methodology to addressing client problems, an approach to developing and incentivising staff, a process for integrating campaigns, etc.
Such distinctions underpin an agency’s proposition, not merely to clients, but to staff and other stakeholders. It is important to respect these distinctions and understand that one division cannot replace the other.
Teamwork makes dream work.
Overall, agencies’ creativity now needs to have the greatest commercial impact possible, which demands a far more wide-ranging skillset as well as a nimbleness to adapt to a multitude of media channels. There’s been a growing trend that PR and advertising are connected in multiple ways.
It’s important to understand, they are not one (and will not be) but continue to work in harmony with each other for the greater good: client satisfaction! This kind of collaboration ultimately helps them create unforgettable campaigns, which they could not have accomplished separately and in turn improves the bottom line.