Having worked in an agency for nearly all of my career, I’ve been on both sides of the communication spectrum. I started in communications and public relations, then worked my way into the world of social media and digital marketing. What I’m about to say may seem controversial, but I strongly believe you need to have a public relations and marketing strategy to reach your business goals.
Now, hear me out. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard a client say they don’t need public relations because they have marketing. Or that their social media marketing is left to an intern with no experience because “they’re young and know how it works.” While there could be some truth in that statement, the reality is, to make the biggest impact, you need your public relations and marketing efforts to be in sync. Here’s why.
What is The Rule of 7?
The Rule of 7 is a marketing strategy that says your target audience needs to be exposed to your product or service seven times before they’re willing to make a purchase decision. The key here, however, is not just seeing the same thing seven times, but rather, unique pieces of content that reach into various parts of your audience’s decision-making process. Here are just a few examples of content across both marketing and public relations channels:
Social Media Content: Small, digestible snippets that pique their interest quickly and build a low-pressure relationship with your target audience. And contrary to what many may think, this medium takes a great deal of strategy and research to be effective.
Advertising: Engaging content that continues to re-target or deliver to your audience members that have previously engaged with your content. These little reminders help push your audience through the sales funnel by encouraging them to take the next step.
Industry News Commentary: When a key executive team member provides insight on a specific industry news piece providing validity to your company’s expertise in the space.
Op-ed: Depending on your industry, an in-depth article showcasing expertise may be what your audience is looking for. This is an opportunity for potential clients or buyers to build trust in your business.
Best of Lists: This may seem superficial, but everyone wants to have something that everyone else wants. Knowing that other consumers, media outlets or influencers have identified you as a product or service they need to have, others are likely to follow suit.
Email & Text Campaigns: For B2C companies, follow up emails and text campaigns are a critical step in the purchasing process. Many potential customers will visit your site, even add items to their cart, then exit the screen. Retargeting email campaigns allow you to remind them of that pending purchase, pushing them to complete the sale.
Events: Events can play an important role for both public relations and marketing goals. They offer an opportunity for your target audience to interact directly with your product, service or company values, and can have a direct or indirect correlation with what your business provides. This can be achieved through sponsorships, partnerships, brand ambassadors or hosting your own event.
Implementing a Cohesive Public Relations and Marketing Strategy
Developing an overarching content calendar will allow you to better align your public relations and marketing initiatives. Often, the two departments function separately within the same business or agency entity. However, by bringing them together to build a cohesive plan, you can better align your corporate announcements with your marketing communications channels, such as social media posts and email marketing campaigns to support that messaging and vice versa. Whether you map out your initiatives quarterly or annually, having a plan in place will allow you to better hit your targets on budget and on time.
Identify Key Audiences
Not all communications channels are designed to reach the same target audiences. Business models focused on reaching B2B professionals may find that avenues like business trade publications, LinkedIn, Twitter, and targeted digital marketing (like PPC) may have the most success. Those operating in B2C markets are likely to focus more on mainstream media channels and publications as well as popular social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
Implement a Scalable System
If you want to implement a scalable system for your marketing and public relations initiatives, you need to take advantage of modern technology. Here are a few tools to consider:
- CRM: Utilizing a customer relationship management software tool like HubSpot or Marketo can help you track your marketing campaigns in one place. These tools also allow businesses to implement automated email campaigns that directly nurture prospective buyers or clients through the funnel.
- Social Media Management Software: Part of the content calendar process includes building a content calendar specific to your social media channels. Implementing a software tool that allows you to plan, schedule, manage and analyze your efforts can improve efficiency and efficacy.
- Media Management Software: Identifying and tracking the right media audiences is just as important as understanding your target audience. Media management software companies can help you filter media contacts and publications by trade, geo location and more. They also have tools to help your public relations team monitor what’s being said about your company in the media and other digital platforms, identifying whether it’s favorable, indifferent or unfavorable. These tools are crucial for tracking your PR goals as well as identifying when shifts in messaging are needed.
Reaching Your Public Relations and Marketing GoalsAligning your public relations and marketing strategies is an important piece of reaching and exceeding your company goals. Putting the right systems in place will also allow you to scale those efforts as your business grows. Need a little help? CMW Media is a full-service public relations and marketing firm that specializes in emerging markets, including the global cannabis industry. Contact us today to see how we can help your business reach its full potential.