While it may not be the norm in public relations just yet, integrated communications is starting to take up more bandwidth in the PR process. PR departments and agencies are increasingly working with the marketing, advertising, digital and design disciplines to create a well-rounded message that clicks on all cylinders.
At our recent PR Agency Elite Luncheon, PR News spoke with Lia LoBello, a management supervisor at Peppercomm, which captured the Elite Award for Integrated Communications. LoBello shared a few tips on how PR execs can maximize integrated communications.
> LoBello said that Peppercomm’s motto, “Listen, Engage, Repeat,” is the agency’s driving force behind working with other marketing disciplines. She added that in order to demonstrate their value, PR execs need a “deep understanding” of myriad marketing disciplines and should help decide how melding the various marketing channels together will create the best go-to-market strategy.
> In helping to create integrated-marketing plans, PR agencies also need to take a “deep dive” into social media, LoBello said. “You need to take a hard look at all of the social channels,” she said. “Using Instagram may require a different approach” than Facebook or Twitter, for example. You have to match each social channel, if it’s appropriate for the campaign, with the ultimate goals of the client.
> It’s still important that each discipline that participates in an integrated plan take the time to educate the other disciplines on the latest trends in advertising or marketing, for instance. However, LoBello stressed that education among the various disciplines is now morphing into strategic communications. “It’s no longer just about media relations in an integrated package,” she said, “but we’re getting into KPIs, digital and creative strategies” and building websites.
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