By: Kate Shapiro, SVP Operations, LaunchTech Communications
The age-old pitting of marketing and public relations teams’ missions against one another is a dwindling stereotype — rightly so! Marketers aren’t just focused on sales and PR professionals aren’t just focused on spinning negatives into positives. Both teams play critical roles within an integrated communications plan and should be viewed as complementary rather than opponents vying for budget dollars.
Here are the top three reasons CMOs need PR pros in brand strategy meetings:
Coverage is High-Value Content
PR teams are responsible for initiating, nurturing, and maintaining relationships with key media figures and, through those relationships, landing top coverage. Because customers are now experts at researching and assessing brands’ authenticity, reputation, and credentials, it’s imperative to demonstrate industry leadership. A byline in a trade publication or quoted inclusion in a tier-one business magazine speaks volumes to prospects and current customers.
PR wins validate a company’s credibility and enhance marketing campaign components including social media, blogs, websites, and email newsletters. Not to mention, when reporters are happy with your team, you may receive additional shoutouts in a publication like Account Coordinator Cole Christy recently did — that’s great earned media!
Crisis Communications Management Collaboration
The best strategy for preparing for a crisis is just that: preparing. From data breaches to major service/product malfunctions, your brand is likely to experience a crisis of some sort in its lifetime. Negative publicity can be the nail in the coffin for a company that is not positioned to react, take ownership, apologize, and lay out specific measures for improvement quickly and clearly. Even big names like Chipotle, United Airlines, and Samsung continue to struggle with the financial and reputation costs of crises.
When marketers and PR pros monitor the potential threat landscape and run through messaging for difference scenarios together, rather than just waiting until a crisis has arrived, the company is better aligned for ongoing crisis communications management.
Subtle Brand Messaging
As the saying goes, “people don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy”. It’s important to understand that not every prospect is at the conversion stage of the sales funnel. Customers need to be reminded brands exist, but advertisements aren’t always the answer. When they hear from an executive on a podcast, read about a brand in a news article, or see an interesting retweet, it’s the gentle reminder needed to pique their interest. PR pros can offer assistance crafting messaging that conveys a brand’s story without being overtly sales-y. Subtle messaging is ideal for pitching leadership for speaking opportunities, hosting workshops, informational newsletters, and more.
“When it comes to brands’ communication strategy, having marketing and PR teams work together from the get-go is ideal for an overall, cohesive messaging direction,” says Wayne Schepens, Managing Director at LaunchTech. “Our team is comprised of professionals specializing in both areas and is happy to help propel your brand’s messaging forward.”