PR and Marketing: Find where they intersect to power up success
When people ask what I do for a living, my usual response is that I help companies reach their target audiences through written content and speaking opportunities. Their usual response back to me – “oh, so you are in marketing.” Well, yes and no.
While most people don’t really know what public relations is (my husband of 11 years still isn’t quite sure what I do), many do have an idea of marketing.
Admittedly there is a very fine line between marketing and PR. Both are about telling a story, sharing a value proposition and reaching a key audience. And while PR can be a vital piece of the marketing puzzle, marketing is not the same thing as true PR, especially in B2B communications.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the best supplier partners serving the multifamily industry. In fact, LTM has on-boarded three just this summer. Since PR and marketing are not mutually exclusive, we work closely with our clients to determine where and how marketing and PR can intersect to tell a story, share a value prop and reach an audience.
Now, every supplier partner is different with varying goals and objectives, but three PR tactics should be considered essential for every strategic marketing program:
Content: Give them all the content. Content is king. I cannot stress this enough. And controlled content is even better. This can take the form of proactive media pitches leading to bylined articles, or client-based case studies and testimonials (we will get to more on this in a second). Either way, the content directly showcases the benefit of your solution over a competitor.
The key with any PR-driven content is that it cannot be filled with marketing messages – those strong messages that share exactly why a product or solution is the best. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for those messages like advertising, sponsored social media posts and advertorials. But from a PR perspective and in earned media opportunities, you want to gently weave those messages into educational, thought-provoking content about industry trends or challenges impacting multifamily business. The goal is to get the reader to start thinking what type of solution (like yours) they would need in order to keep up with this new trend or combat the challenges they are facing.
Brand Ambassadors: Brand ambassadors are your super users. Those clients who love your product and are willing to sing its praises because it solved a problem, improved business processes or helped elevate revenue. However, these individuals should also be transparent in their experience with your company.
Thinks of brand ambassadors as your B2B ratings and reviews. We know that 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews so why wouldn’t you find a way to offer prospects a “rating and review” of your B2B solution? Your future customers want to hear from those who have experienced similar challenges and how they overcame them but without all the clutter of marketing messages.
Brand ambassadors can be used for case studies, which are more promotional stories about how your solution helped them achieve success. Think a bylined article but with more marketing oomph. More succinct testimonials are another great way to leverage a brand ambassador. These short snippets again showcase how your solution bettered their business without being salesy.
Speaking Opportunities: This is probably the trickiest of tactics when it comes to finding the right intersection of marketing and PR.
While it makes sense to have a supplier partner executive as a speaker on a panel to showcase thought leadership, it may not always be the best option. The conference, the audience and the subject matter all need to be taken into consideration when determining if a company executive should take center stage or if it is best to leverage a brand ambassador (remember those super users). Third-party endorsements can go very far, especially in thought leadership opportunities.
Consider speaking opportunities as a more detailed expansion of bylined articles, case studies and testimonials. By leveraging your brand ambassadors for these opportunities, it allows them to endorse your solution by first setting the stage as to why the needed to seek out services and ultimately what led them to you. Again, using brand ambassadors who are transparent in their full experience provides a truly authentic review of your company and services.
Remember, PR and marketing are not mutually exclusive. Yes, they both can technically exist without the other, but finding the area where they intersect can propel the success of any marketing program. How can the tactics above power your marketing efforts? Can they be shared socially? Or even for inbound marketing? Could the sales team use them in meetings? The answer is heck yes to all!