Are they really better together?

Last fall, Well Done Marketing merged with Gracie Communications to form a full-service agency offering public relations, marketing, and everything in between. It’s all mixed up—as it should be. But what is the difference between PR and marketing? And are they really better together?

The short answer is “yes.”  A good PR strategy protects and grows your brand, engages key audiences, and amplifies your marketing efforts. How is this different from marketing?

Let’s start with how they are similar. PR and marketing use many of the same channels: email, web, social media, print—and a lot of the same tactics—blogs, video, advertising, events, and so on. They both aim to deliver the right message at the right time in the right place to the right audience for the best results.

So how are they different?

A broader audience
It comes down to audience. Marketing is primarily focused on customers. If you sell Vans, tweens and young teens are buying your product. And because this consumer group controls nearly $40 billion in purchasing power, you market to them. Of course it’s not that simple, but you get the idea.

PR, on the other hand—which often falls under the marketing umbrella—looks at a broader audience: industry groups and associations, government agencies, community organizations, employees, investors, board members, and any other group that may or may not be your customers, but can have a big impact on the success of your company.

PR focuses on when and how you interact with these groups, and creates ways to build relationships with them. Over time, you’ll need to inform, educate, inspire, persuade, call them to action, or otherwise engage with these groups to smooth a path to your company’s success.

PESO: A starting point
The PESO model, a relatively new communications framework developed by industry leader Gini Dietrich, breaks content into four types: Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned. You pay for advertising, earn news coverage, share your social accounts, and own your website. Again, it’s all mixed up. PESO simplifies digital marketing strategy and shows how content types work together to build an online presence.

Not in a vacuum
Marketing and PR are not as effective when you use only one or the other in a vacuum. Having strong relationships and digital connections with all of your audiencesnot just customershelps you prepare for and tackle business challenges and meet sales and other business goals.

It’s because of their differences that PR is essential to any marketing strategy. Whether you’re just getting started or are looking for new ideas, there are lots of ways to add PR to your marketing plans.

How have you used marketing and PR together? If you’re not sure—or if you’ve been doing only one and not the other—it might be time to reconsider.