Every day another blog comes out discussing the role public relations plays with brand management and how it integrates with marketing and branding strategies. The truth is, they have always been integrated, but some organizations are better integrating them than others. To be successful, the marketing, branding and public relations strategies need to be fully in sync. One of the first questions I was asked when applying at a major public relations agency was to define the difference between marketing, branding and public relations. At the time I found it to be odd but over the years I’ve come to understand why it was asked. People want to lump them all together even though they’re all different. Yet, all three need one another to bring the ultimate success in branding: brand resonance.
Working as part of the marketing team for a company in the travel industry, I had the opportunity to see things from a different side. I worked with the public relations team and the advertising agency to achieve the marketing goals laid out in the master plan. This experience illustrated how the three work together. The advertisements were created and strategically placed. The same messaging and branding elements were used on the marketing materials and on the headers of the press releases. I first heard about this company in an article I read and later recalled the article when I saw an advertisement which drove me to the company’s website to request more information. I recognized the logo and company name, but it was the information in the article that drove home the positive brand image laid out in the advertisements and on the website.
It’s interesting to find myself in my role as a public relations leader within a branding communications firm. From the first day I recognized the pros of working in a non-traditional PR agency. There are many benefits to a “one-stop-shop.” Most notably, our clients can turn to us for all their branding, marketing, and public relations needs, resulting in increased synergies and cost-effectiveness. Organizations are streamlining these services to cut costs, which is a primary reason to consider choosing one all-encompassing agency for your communications services.
One of the biggest benefits is that I don’t have too go far for information to serve our clients. Previously, while working with a PR firm, it wasn’t unusual to go to a client’s marketing team for important information only to have to wait for it. Now, I can walk down the hall and ask a colleague for the information I need to move forward quickly on a project or task. Scheduling is easier, too, when running a brainstorming or strategy session because we’re all in the same office. For instance, we all know the importance of meta tags (key words, descriptions, etc.), content, and messaging to achieve SEO results on the Web. Because we’re able to access information quickly through marketing materials we’ve already developed for our clients, we’re able to identify those words and phrases quickly and strategically implement them into our clients’ websites for immediate impact.
By working with a full-service marketing communications firm, organizations benefit greatly. Simply put, it’s more effective and it saves time and money. Those who view marketing, branding and public relations as integrated investments toward their future success will reap the greatest rewards.