PR & Marketing working hand in hand
As the AMA launches its new resource section on Press & PR in the Members’ Area, Evadney Campbell, MBE, considers the important role PR plays in marketing strategies.
PR has always been the poor relation to marketing but actually it’s an essential tool. PR should be a core function of an organisation right from the beginning and not just reacting to a crisis.
For me PR and marketing work hand in hand — although they do things in a different way — the ultimate goal is the same. An organisation achieves more when the marketing and PR teams understand that they support and drive each other’s work; when they work as one and not as two separate entities. PR should be an integral part of a marketing strategy.
Before social media, a marketing team would drive the communications strategy and the PR team would find ways to help the marketing team to achieve that. But those boundaries have blurred somewhat with the growth of Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. PR needs to help drive the communications strategy from the outset because everything that an organisation does that people are talking about is PR.
The distinct difference between marketing and PR is that one is paid promotion and one is earned. Marketing is you telling everyone how amazing you are whereas PR is someone else saying that you’re amazing and that the product or service is incredible. It’s third party endorsement. That’s why with PR, if it’s done properly, you usually get more trusted publicity because people will say: that newspaper or magazine wrote a story about this organisation because it was worth it — it’s good.
Any publicity you generate with PR is generated on its own merit not because you’ve paid someone to do it.
Traditionally, the way you persuade the press and media to cover your story is to write a press release. Even now, with my clients the biggest thing for me is a good press release. If I send a press release, especially to print media, and they use it with a slight tweak, then I’ve hit the nail on the head. I’ve done exactly what was right for that story.
The important thing is how you present the information about your story to the press. The press and media are interested in good stories — they’re not interested in selling your product — that’s what your marketing team is supposed to do.
Be honest with yourself and ask: if I saw the headline that I’ve just created would I want to read this story? Does my story have an impact and an interest? Is my story something that people want to read about, watch or listen to? Would I be interested?
You need to make sure that you’re doing the journalist a favour in giving them a great story that they want to promote and publicise — rather than them doing you a favour. Media outlets are only interested in a good story and the cultural sector is full of great stories.
Evadney Campbell, MBE, is Co-Founder of Shiloh PR a public relations and media training company.