For anyone looking to work in public relations or someone who might want to hire a PR agency to support their business, it’s useful to understand what public relations is and how it supports marketing.
Essentially, public relations falls under the umbrella of marketing. Other things that fall within marketing might be advertising, digital marketing (e.g. social media, pay-per-click advertising, SEO, email newsletters, content marketing etc.) direct mail and promotions.
Here are the most obvious ways that public relations supports marketing:
- It helps companies to reach their target audience. The purpose of all marketing is to reach an audience for a certain reason. It might be a fashion brand looking to reach people who will buy its clothes or the NHS wanting to spread an important message about a vaccination. Whatever the organisation, message or audience in question, public relations is a means of communicating.
- It is used to create awareness and/or improve the reputation of a company/brand. A public relations agency will use different communications ‘tools’ – whether it’s creative campaigns, media relations, influencer engagement or speaker platforms – to get your business out there. Rather than a more direct approach (e.g. advertising or direct marketing), if a business or brand has been featured by a media outlet or influencer, it can come across as more credible if it has had positive endorsement by a third party.
- It can help to refine marketing messages. Public relations essentially means connecting a brand or company to the public, and more specifically, its own target audience. Any brand marketing will have strong messages about the business in question, which serves a purpose if it’s advertising or direct marketing. A public relations function can help marketing to refine the messages and pick which ones that can be developed into storylines that appeal to the media and its target audience.
- It can amplify marketing strategies and campaigns. For any marketing strategy or campaign, PR can be used to amplify it. Though, that’s not to say that you can PR a marketing strategy or campaign, as it might not be PR-able. To give an example, a well-known casual dining restaurant might claim to make the best lunchtime food-to-go and create a marketing campaign around that. You wouldn’t be able to PR that alone as it is ‘salesy’ (but serves a purpose in the marketing world). A public relations function would think of ways to creatively talk around this – e.g. the rise of the lunchtime casual dining or how much people spend on food-to-go, or a creative campaign capture people’s imagination. This is how PR can support.
The above offers how public relations supports marketing in a nutshell. If you want to understand more about what the role of a PR agency is, it’s worth reading this blog.
For further reading, it’s worth giving our founder Rich Leigh’s best-selling book ‘Myths of PR‘ a go!
If you want to know more about how we could help you, please get in touch!