Wondering how PR and marketing work hand in hand? There is often confusion if PR is a part of marketing or is it an independent function. How much do they differ? Or is there a fine line between the two?
In the age of digital disruption, we can see that the lines between PR and marketing are blurring and institutions are moving towards integrated marketing strategies. However, the truth is, you just can’t do marketing justice without investing in PR.
There is no doubt that content marketing remains a fantastic way to engage an audience and grow a brand. However, companies practicing content marketing often separate it from public relations. In my opinion, this is a dangerous mistake.
Without a PR strategy alongside it, your content marketing is incomplete. Great content falls flat or goes unnoticed, while new audiences who might otherwise be interested in your brand don’t have a way to build trust with it and end up shying away.
A good PR strategy establishes your brand positively in the public eye. Through PR you reach new audiences, expand brand awareness, and benefit from the credibility of whoever wrote about you.
Content marketing transforms that reputation into revenue. By developing useful, educational content and delivering it to engaged audiences, PR generates stronger leads, nurtures prospects through the sales or applications cycles, and establishes leaders like Deans, Presidents and Directors as authoritative voices.
Combining marketing and PR results in:
- Brand message consistency
- Brand values and trust
- Google rankings
- Increased conversions
Brand message consistency
It’s a PR professional’s job to know and even predict the latest trends in the media. This means that PR consultants can work with you to predict the next big thing and make sure your content marketing is ‘newsworthy’.
All of your branded communications should be aligned to maximise and reinforce your value proposition, brand identity and brand personality. Public relations professionals can work together to make sure the tone of the brand is consistent. There can be unity between the key themes and topics to discuss with a defined editorial calendar. This way we ensure that the content is released at the right time, making sure it garners the most attention and fits in with the messages of the institution.
Promote brand values and trust
In any industry, trust plays a pivotal role in determining whether a business will be successful or hit the ground, but this is especially true in business and higher education. Lack of trust can also lead to dropping student numbers, high turnover in faculty, and ultimately a loss of revenue. However, when you hire a public relations professional, you can work with them to increase credibility by improving an institution’s reputation through thought leadership pieces, networking strategies and more.
With the help of public relations you can send positive messages to your audience who are in line with your brand image by using the ideas that your target customers respond to more positively.
Now, I’m not 100% sure how you found this article, however the chances are that you probably found it near the top of the first page of Google. Regardless, having a strong digital footprint is key in a competitive market. PR helps improve on some of the work marketing has already done.
For example, if a potential applicant were to Google you, and then Google your biggest competitor, to find they had dozens of articles in notable publications and you had little but your website – where do you think potential students would choose to study? A good website simply isn’t enough - don’t leave it up to chance.
A trend we’ve noticed recently is companies using their press articles to direct their advertisements to. Brands know how much power having “as seen in” or simply a reputable publication logo on their ad is going to be for increasing conversions. The same thing goes for websites, landing pages and more – without an “as seen in” or “media highlights” section, you could be missing out on appealing to potential applicants or attracting new faculty.
People are emotional beings, and to achieve the best results possible, you have to combine PR and marketing efforts effectively. As long as you can build a bond between the customer and the brand through PR, there is a good chance that your target audience will actively participate in your marketing activities.