Public Relations or Marketing? When to Choose Where to Put Your Budget
Roxanne Leone, director, marketing & communications
I grow businesses by developing and implementing public relations and marketing initiatives each measured by ROI. I’ve learned a few tricks and tips and hard knock lessons that I want to share with you. For example, it’s always best to leverage core messaging, resources and creative assets to get the most mileage out of any communication plan.
One of my former clients was challenged to show steady growth with its investors. Before joining the team, it was pre-determined that the company would take its limited budget and jump into pay-per-click advertising with the hopes of converting leads into customers in 3-6 months. The majority of leads generated were early in the buying cycle, were not properly set up for nurturing in a CRM system and sales representatives didn’t have the patience to walk leads through the buyer’s journey. Therefore, conversions remained flat, there was high employee turn-over and investors were losing interest.
For this young organization, engaging with a public relations agency would have been the more cost-effective solution to raise brand awareness, draw in more educated prospects, and satisfy investors with a solid pipeline.
If you’re operating like a start-up, consider a public relations campaign to lay a solid foundation for a more successful marketing program to follow.
Choose public relations over marketing when you want to:
- Elevate your reputation and brand: If you wish to improve your reputation and drive brand awareness with key audiences, public relations will help you build credibility through earned media placements, awards and speaking opportunities.
- Generate newsworthy content: Your marketing team may take the lead on messaging and funnel it into your PR department, but the way you communicate your story through a sales team is much different than the way you tell your story to journalists. PR professionals understand the needs of journalists and seek to dive deeper into supporting statistics and case studies to pitch a newsworthy story to the media to secure press.
- Improve investor buy-in: By earning positive media coverage investors see organizations as more established and aligned to meet audience needs. This helps pave the way for a sensible timeline to plan and incorporate an integrated marketing campaign, gather leads, close new business and keep current customers informed.
- Raise stakeholder awareness: Communicating internally is just as critical as managing your reputation with the media and your prospects. When your staff at every level of the organization speaks to the same message, the organization is positioned for success. It’s in the best interest of your staff to understand what you’re doing and why, and to give them the right tools to leverage correctly.
In a 2017 study by USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, 47% of public relations professionals and more than 60% of marketers surveyed felt that the two disciplines will become more closely aligned with each other within the next five years. So, why are there still internal battles to secure budgets and leverage content and creative assets?
At Bob Gold & Associates, we are a public relations firm first and foremost, but we have the talent and expertise to know when and how to leverage marketing to get the most out of your investment. Reduce frustration and seek the advice of a full-service PR agency. Contact us today for a free consultation. We want to hear your story.