In an ideal world, B2B marketing and public relations strategy should work “hand and glove”. But the reality in many organizations, is that PR and Marketing are woefully mis-aligned. As we all start planning for CY 2022, here are 3 keys to ensure your communications (er, public relations) and marketing are integrated successfully.
Key #1: Align Strategic Planning
At many organizations, “PR” strategy and “Marketing” strategy development are done separately. One lead by the head of corporate communications and the other lead by head of marketing. And this is where the mis-alignment begins. Each team, then, goes off and eventually their support agencies to build their communications or GTM plans.
Internal alignment is critical from the top down. While each communications discipline has its own value to contribute to the business, every Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer needs to collaborate on how they will integrate each other’s teams into the other’s strategic planning.
One tactic we find helpful for our clients is collaborating on messaging frameworks and audience (read: Persona) development and research. This is even more important with complex digital efforts like, content marketing, social media marketing and industry relations where both disciplines create a vital role in driving business growth.
Key #2: Measure Together
Many marketing analytics teams fail to incorporate in their attribution, ROI, ROMI models the contribution of Public Relations to a company’s business objectives. And many PR teams fail to incorporate sophisticated analytics tools to understand the impact PR efforts are having on business growth. This is a huge gap.
Marketing Measurement Excellence is hard, but incorporating PR into your overall communications analytics is important. And this isn’t measuring mentions, or articles or bylines, but measuring change in sentiment and NPS across all your audiences. And yes, industry influencers is a Persona for B2B brands that must be surveyed and measured regularly.
As communications are more digital than ever, measuring all forms of communications (marketing, public relations, investor relations, etc.) must be incorporated into your ROI models for marketing investments.
Key #3: Collaborate Better
Alignment is difficult in the day to day of getting stuff done. Alignment is a function of trust and empathy. One approach that I’ve learned along the way is creating a “Center of Excellence” for marketing and communications that focuses on sharing best practices within the marketing, communications and PR organizations; with non-marketing teams (e.g., internal clients, like Sales); and external partners (like agencies and technology firms).
A second approach is to embed PR folks in Marketing and visa versa, especially on social media, content marketing and other reactive marketing disciplines. This allows for a direct connection between marketing and PR in the day to day. And will ensure alignment in thinking and execution.
These three Keys can help any marketing and pr team to successfully integrate marketing and public relations. Alignment and Collaboration are the Key for your companies successful growth.