Ananda Shakespeare, founder and CEO, Shakespeare Communications, and a PR guru shares 101 of Personal Branding for 2021.
There's long been confusion between advertising, marketing, and public relations, so it's worthwhile taking a moment here to explain the differences, and why PR is a vital, disparate yet fundamentally interconnected discipline that works hand in hand with your marketing budget and team.
Firstly, let's make clear that marketing is focused on promoting and selling a specific product, whereas PR is focused on maintaining a positive reputation for a company as a whole.
As a seasoned PR professional, I'm often called on to perform more marketing-centric duties, and that's okay, but I am also keen to leave roles to the experts in that field. For example, we call on designers, web coders, photographers, and media monitoring services every week.
While marketing has a razor-like focus on sales of your product and services, using the above description it quickly becomes clear that to stand above the chatter, you need to employ the delicate art of PR.
Without a good reputation crafted and maintained by your dedicated PR team, end-users won't want to buy your product as much as your rival companies, especially if they maintain a better reputation via good PR practices.
The best mix is always one where the marketing and PR teams work closely together. A new product launch will obviously utilize the power of marketing to the max, but there will be an emphasis on PR on the launch day or business milestone.
It's PR that you call on to get the word out, to organize a launch event, to get your company spokespeople in front of the media. Most organizations tend to put the emphasis on PR when launching something, but what happens after the launch?
Of course, earned media coverage and press outreach don’t – and certainly shouldn't - stop after launch. PR has to be a longer-term strategy, with tangible milestones in place.
Savvy business owners know that public relations is an integral part of marketing and should play a key role in brand strategy throughout a company’s life.
Perhaps you can envisage PR as adding another dimension to your brand vision, aims, and goals. A good, long-term PR campaign gives your brand a 'face'; an identity.
How many of us instantly recognize the golden arches of McDonald's, the Nike swoosh, the Emirates font? This is the convergence of marketing, advertising, and PR – but it's PR that really gives people the 'feels' towards your brand. We create the emotional connections between consumers and brands, the story that makes your products and services relatable, memorable, and in many cases, loved.
Next time you wonder how PR adds value, remember the above. Many PR practitioners can now measure results and calculate ROI. It works well for all concerned if a PR campaign has tangible results, whether it's greater, measurable brand familiarity, more column inches, airtime, or followers.
Just like media, PR is a 24/7/365 business. In our role of keeping on top of the news, we ensure your message is timely, targetted, and tangible.
While your marketing team creates a campaign and decides upon its messaging and media channels, it’s time for us PR pros to step in and amplify that messaging with carefully curated media placements in key publications.
Analytics then help us prove our mettle and prove the value of PR to your company.
Understanding the role of PR within the marketing arena is complex, but if you employ a professional PR provider which successfully amplifies the messaging and measures results, and with PR and marketing working together, you can achieve far greater brand success.