Marketing and Public Relations were once considered two distinct fields. The goal of marketing was to promote products or services and Public Relations was about brand promotion and image. In the past, Marketing and Public Relations department worked separately with many brands separating Public Relations from the Marketing Mix.
However, as new channels have been introduced, consumers become increasingly aware of when they are being targeted, and demands become reshaped, the lines have started to blur. The holistic goals of strategic marketing are now not just about selling a product, but building brand visibility and equity, creating a unique and relatable connection with consumers and being part of broader, global conversations. Therefore, it is now the norm to consider Public Relations an essential component of the Marketing Mix, and here is why:
Consumers have become more value-driven
Customers’ buying decisions are no longer guided only by the need or want to buy products themselves but by the values conveyed by companies that market these products. A striking example of this new trend is the increasing decline of ROI from traditional advertising, whether on or offline.
“Buying behaviors are related to the affinities we have with companies that sell their products. It has become “Affinity Marketing.” – Michael Jais, CEO Launchmetrics
Beliefs, morals, and values transmitted by companies are their point of differentiation today. Consumers can tell whether a company is communicating a certain message just to win them over, rather than really believing in the values that they transmit publically. It is essential for Marketing and Public Relations teams to clearly outline their core initiatives and goals as a company, in order to remain transparent with consumers, as this highly impacts buying decisions. In a culture where a brand can be impacted negatively by a single tweet or Instagram Story, accountability is key for brand actions and messaging. This is where companies in the fashion, luxury, and beauty sectors need to work to foster long-term, meaningful relationships with their consumers and thus increase the potential for ROI.
Cross-channel marketing is sustained by Public Relations
As outlined above, the main objective of marketing now is to build strong relationships with consumers. This is where the necessity of cross-collaboration between Marketing and Public Relations departments arises. For example, if one of the main goals of your marketing department is to develop a solid influencer marketing strategy, you have to be able to identify key influencers that have the capacity to connect with your brand and consumers. If they don’t, this doesn’t help to achieve your larger goal of building strong relationships with your target audience. The influencers you select should inspire consumers and have an impact on their buying behaviors, and to cultivate the right partnerships, requires Marketing and Public Relations departments to work together.
According to Michael Jais, CEO at Launchmetrics, “The goal is to assist companies throughout these changes and provide them with tools that meet their new needs.”
Public Relations can be measured comparatively against other marketing activities
“PR has often been set aside from the Marketing Mix because of the lack of measurement tools, which are not industrialized enough.” A previous challenge which has now been addressed, is making PR activities comparatively measurable to help demonstrate their ROI. How? By utilizing a unified metric across all marketing activities, allowing you to examine where value is being generated. This gives brands the key indicators they should be paying attention to, in the form of a detailed report, allowing them to allocate budgets more effectively, and make clear decisions for the future based on both Marketing and Communications teams.
PR can anticipate the needs of future professionals
The focus of Marketing and Communication teams are now merging and becoming more oriented towards the “digital economy.” It is crucial to anticipate the expectations and working methods of future Communication professionals, and be able to offer solutions that meet those needs. By keeping a constant stream of communication open between both teams, the intel collected by PR divisions can help to determine future marketing decisions based on needs from press, contacts, audience responses and so on.
Do you want to understand more about how to cross-compare your Marketing and PR strategies: