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Should PR be part of your marketing activity?

20th Jan '16

Here at Blue Rock, we’re always surprised when we see a business investing heavily in their latest marketing campaign without even thinking about PR.

We say – ignore PR at your peril. You’re missing a great chance to complement and boost your marketing efforts and increase your return on investment.

Marketing and PR go together like a good gin and tonic – they’re the perfect partners, especially when they’re mixed in just the right way. In fact, we’d never have one without the other!

Good PR alongside well-executed marketing activity can really help you connect with customers in a meaningful and authentic way, as well as improve brand awareness and perception.

In a nutshell, PR is marketing’s best friend.

Marketing and PR – what’s the difference?

At a very simplistic level, your marketing strategy is all about what you’re offering, who wants or needs it, what they’ll pay for it and where they can get it.

This then shapes your marketing activity – how you’re going to reach your customers and persuade them to buy into what you’re offering.

Your PR supports your marketing by telling your story, painting a picture of your organisation or product and persuading influencers (like journalists or bloggers) to say great things about you – which in turn boosts your profile, reinforces all of your marketing activity and delivers a really positive result.

What people say about you, matters

What other people say about your business or product – whether that’s in the media, via social networks or out on the street – is much more powerful and influential than what you say about yourself via your marketing activities.

So, if you can persuade a journalist or blogger to write nice things about you – for example by having a great story or great product/service, then that’s going to reach your customers in a much more authentic way and have a bigger impact than if you’d just taken an ad out on their site or in their paper.

Our top tips for getting the most out of PR

Be prepared to give up control
PR and marketing landscapes are constantly changing and evolving, especially with the growth of digital and social media, but the purpose of PR is still fundamentally the same. It’s about positioning yourself in the marketplace by getting your story out there in all the right places and for all the right reasons. Those changing landscapes mean that the opportunities for storytelling are now vast and you can get so much closer to your customers in lots of new ways. Those changes also mean there are far more storytellers out there too, looking to share their take on you – with their 200 friends on Facebook or their 200,000 Twitter followers – whether you like it or not. This means that reputation and what people say about you can sometimes be difficult to control. Anticipate and plan for this, mitigate its impact by being as positive and proactive as possible with your PR, and be prepared to relinquish some control in exchange for authentic comment. If that comment is occasionally negative, use it to your advantage. Acknowledge it, learn from it and use it to improve.
Be authentic
If you want to maximise positive PR and social media comment, our top tip is to be authentic through all of your channels. Make sure you’re clear about what you’re all about, and make sure your audiences and customers are clear too. What are your brand values? Make sure they’re reflected in what you do as a business as well as what you say about yourself through your marketing communications and PR. If you’re authentic, your customers will be far more inclined to continue to believe in you if you do get some negative commentary now and again.
Make friends
Get out there and build relationships with the people who can help boost your profile – whether that’s a reporter from the local newspaper, a specialist blogger or an industry insider. Network, make contacts and make friends. And don’t forget to be authentic!
Ask the experts

There are lots of different ways to secure expert support for your PR activity – including through specialist PR agencies, full-service marketing agencies or friendly local freelancers.

Blue Rock is a full-service marketing agency and we can offer a range of support, from brand development to PR strategy.

If you’re serious about making your business a success and want to give your brand a profile boost, contact Blue Rock Marketing Consultancy.


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