PR and its place in the integrated marketing mix

Of all of the marketing specialisms – PR has asserted itself as the lead proposition in the successful adoption of an integrated marketing approach.

Businesses are looking to get as much value as possible from their PR investment and while strong media coverage in target media is vital, the journey does not end there. In truth, it’s only the beginning as there is so much more value to be gained from quality PR content. Bringing together all aspects of marketing and communications such as public relations, marketing and social media and their respective mix of tactics, methods and channels, so that all work together as a unified force is increasingly important.

This integrated approach, with PR at its heart, is the best approach. We now inhabit a world where customer is king. Consumers expect to interact with and extract answers immediately from brands. If they don’t get exactly what they want, when they want it, they will simply go elsewhere.

This consumer led experience has transferred to the B2B environment and expectations are growing.

It has been assumed that how brands sell to business audiences will not change. This is wrong. From the influx of social media usage and a truly mobile first approach to just about everything, consumer trends are influencing the B2B buying process like never before.

B2B product marketers plan to increase the proportion of overall marketing budgets spent on social media from 8 today to 18 within the next five years. While, B2B services marketers plan to increase the share allocated to social media from 12 to 25 over that period. (The CMO Survey)

With over 85 of all marketers worldwide now using content marketing to get more engagement and sales (Real Business), it’s no wonder that businesses focus more and more on how content is created, consumed and published.

Delivering strong messages on a brand, product or service is what PR delivers every single day, now it is vital to ensure that these messages are leveraged and used across all available marketing channels and not focusing on media alone. An effective integrated approach will outline a core message, highlight your competitive advantage, address the appropriate target market, and tailor the message to fit supportive media channels. Essentially, the message remains consistent, but the method of delivery will vary across platforms.

As a PR leader, we have invaluable market knowledge and customer insight due to our close working relationships with the media and our client base alike. This knowledge and expertise helps to build meaningful content for our clients which will help shape an integrated approach in an age where combining PR and marketing is a natural partnership to help a company meet its desired business goals.

John Broy, Associate Director