Predominant thinking says that the lines between PR and marketing are more blurred than ever. Five out of six (83.2%) respondents to the PRWeek/Notified survey agreed.
If this is the case, clearly, it behooves both sides to work together. And while this prospect – and the accompanying fears of being marginalized – might have scared PR pros once, it shouldn’t. Confident communicators know they uniquely bring a lot to the table. Wise ones also realize they can improve in myriad areas, including many where marketing excels.
This survey was intended to help PR pros recognize where they are strong and where improvement is needed.
This exclusive eBook, The Evolving PR and Marketing Partnership: Benefits of Self-Reflection, is a vehicle for that. It reveals how communicators rated themselves in a variety of key areas. It forces them to take a step back so that they can take numerous steps forward as a discipline on par with marketing in a world where both are equally respected and valued by the brands they counsel.
To that end, we highlight below a quintet of proprietary findings from the survey, each one accompanied by insights from Ben Chodor, president of Intrado Digital Media (Intrado owns Notified).
"Customer engagement is an area where PR and marketing should align more closely," says Chodor.
•Only 5.6% say PR is more effective than marketing in adopting technology. Furthermore, only 44.4% rate PR effective at adopting specific technologies (such as social listening tools, Google Analytics, CRM platforms, and marketing automation platforms), with only 6.1% rating PR as “excellent” in this regard.
Chodor: The future of PR is precision – the combination of intuition and data to predict the most accurate and impactful outcomes. Most teams use technology (such as media databases and monitoring tools), but many aren’t taking full advantage of them and aren’t institutionalizing the data into their everyday work. It’s not just enough to buy technology – driving adoption must be a priority for agencies and brands to see real value and impact.
•98.2% of respondents say it is important for PR today to be able to master and apply marketing competencies (with 70.6% saying it is “very important”).
Chodor: Tying PR efforts directly to business outcomes has always been the holy grail of measurement. Marketing teams generally report hard numbers to the C-suite (such as web traffic, lead generation, sales). PR professionals must learn to do the same. For example, did that piece of coverage in The New York Times drive the business forward? Did it drive sales? It’s absolutely critical that the industry embraces data and ditches the vague, vanity metrics that do not prove the true value of its work.
•57% say that marketing is better positioned than PR to deliver brand awareness. In addition, 58.9% chose brand awareness as a success metric used by marketing that they would like to see PR use more effectively.
Chodor: This is a particularly surprising finding – however, it’s directly tied to the measurement challenges that PR has historically faced. Marketing doesn’t have a secret sauce for driving brand awareness – however, it does a better job of proving its contribution with hard numbers. It comes down to PR truly understanding how to use marketing data to showcase the outcomes of its efforts.
•57.9% chose customer engagement and retention as a success metric used by marketing that they would like to see PR use more effectively.
Chodor: Customer engagement is an area where PR and marketing should align more closely. We often find that while marketing and PR teams both engage customers, it’s often done in silos, without collaboration. For example, a marketing team might work with a customer on a case study and webinar and may not realize that there’s an opportunity for joint PR efforts. Both disciplines play an important role in customer communications and could benefit from an aligned approach.
•57% chose ROI as a success metric used by marketing that they would like to see PR use more effectively.
Chodor: PR pros must get past their fear of data. Marketing and sales data may not tell us what we want to hear – but understanding the numbers allows PR to be nimble with campaign efforts, be more effective storytellers and, ultimately, correlate their work to the bottom line for the business.
Click here to download the eBook.