How Can PR and Marketing Learn to Work Together?

marketing and prMarketing and PR each play substantive roles in accomplishing your company’s goals and objectives. Marketing traditionally has focused on driving sales to customers while PR has traditionally been geared toward building reputation and trust. While they remain distinct, the two disciplines have to work together in many ways—without overstepping the shifting boundary that separates them. Therein lies the challenge.

As anyone currently working in the industry can attest to, PR is changing rapidly. So, too, is its relationship with marketing.

Allison Robins, Zumba's PR director and a featured speaker at PR News’ April 23 webinar, Breaking Down the Silos Between Marketing and PR, said, "In today's fast moving industry, you need to think big picture and see projects through multiple lenses. PR is no longer just about landing that big editorial but also how you will take that story and build it through many channels. We are in a digital boom and content is at its center."

So how can PR and marketing professionals combine forces to make life easier and more productive for each other? Let's take a look at three ways the two disciplines can work together, courtesy of Jyoti Kumar, a writer for Marketing Quotes:

  • Keep your message unified. Your message to consumers needs to be consistent with what is being put out by the marketing and sales teams, and vice versa. This includes anything going out via social media, press releases, online text and video ads, email copy and sale pitches. One way to do this is to share any brand guideline documents that you have. These can easily be forgotten by the marketing and sales teams, so make sure to enforce them so that they are incorporated in any outreach activities. A consumer that feels like he knows and understand a brand well is likely to be converted and remain loyal.
  • Direct your audience to one another. If you’ve captured your audience’s attention, don’t pass up the opportunity to direct it to the company’s website or a member of the sales team. Similarly, encourage marketing and sales to mention any PR initiatives to anyone who seems willing and invested in the brand.
  • Make the voice of PR heard. You might find that marketing and sales are more forceful in their approach, as sealing a deal can often take persistence. If you feel their approach may not be in line with the brand, remind them about building long-lasting relationships and don’t be afraid to point out pitfalls if you see potential problems.

Havilah R. Ross, marketing communications manager at Six Flags Americas and another featured speaker at the April 23 webinar, sums up the road ahead for the two disciplines. "Marketing and PR can work cohesively through communication and honesty to promote good business," she said. "Let go of preconceived ideas and egos."

Learn more about the relationship between PR and marketing by attending PR News’ webinar, Breaking Down the Silos Between Marketing and PR, taking place Thursday, April 23 from 1:30-3 p.m. ET.

Follow Brian Greene on Twitter: @bw_greene