The last year has been tumultuous for the majority of business owners and, in a post-Covid landscape, promotion could be more important than ever for your brand.
Understanding what exactly marketing and PR entail is crucial in determining which approach is best for your business and what your priority should be.
Read on for our back to basics take on demystifying the two services to help you decipher which is likely to generate the biggest return.
What is PR for?
Public Relations (PR) is about selling your brand and managing its reputation by strategically directing the communication channels between your company and its investors, partners and the public. It is a means of influencing, engaging, building a positive image and encouraging trust in your product or service.
PR is based around ‘earned’ media – exposure gained through word of mouth (news mentions, customer reviews, social media interactions, content shares, podcast appearances etc.).
A good PR practitioner will analyse the organisation they represent, identify its objectives and key messages and translate them into engaging stories that appeal to the minds and hearts of the business’ target audiences.
Regardless of whether you are a boutique firm, a mid-sized business or a global enterprise, when your experts are quoted in a story or your news is featured in a target publication, it shows a journalist believes in your brand, which in turn gives it greater credibility. Readers will get to know your business and ultimately trust you.
When is the last time you bought or invested in a product or service without a positive endorsement from a trusted source?
What will marketing do for your business?
Marketing generally encompasses advertising, promotions, social media and email marketing, all of which seek to return direct sales from current and potential customers.
In the growing online world, digital marketing plays an ever-increasing role, as many businesses today gain customers and grow their revenue by increasing their brand awareness online.
A highly targeted digital marketing strategy has the potential to create an excellent return on investment (ROI) and to reach a global audience. Digital models such as pay-per-click (PPC), social media, paid media, content marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and creative and web development can also be incredibly effective when combined with traditional marketing methods such as print, broadcast, direct mail, phone, or outdoor advertising such as billboards.
A good marketer will be able to identify the most appropriate and effective channels that will deliver the best ROI for your business.
PR or marketing – which will work for your brand?
Is there ever a silver bullet? Whilst PR and marketing teams tend to work towards differing priorities, the two strategies are closely aligned and can work hand in hand to achieve the same end goal – the promotion of your brand.
If your budget allows, it can pay to have a combined communications strategy in place that includes both services.
A good PR agency will get to the heart of your brand’s core values and mission and translate that into quality content that ranks highly – not just in search engine results, but in people’s minds.
“Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for”, as the old adage goes.