These days it is all too easy to assume publicity and marketing fall under the same umbrella. In fact, many companies use the terms interchangeably and frequently their own marketers and communications experts do the same. With our 21 years of experience in the field of communications, PR and marketing, I can tell you there are distinct variances between the disciplines in terms of application and results.
The amplified development and use of PR and marketing technology in these fields has affected the perception of these activities and the way in which they operate. In short, the PR of yesterday is not the PR of today. Ditto for marketing as well. Technology has improved our lives and shaped the means with which we can share and respond to information, especially in how we conduct B2C and B2B communications.
Twenty years ago publicity primarily focused on newspapers, magazines, radio and television. By today’s standards, those general media outlets were limited in their reach and influence. Now, with search engines, online forums, social media, blogs, and live video acting as major information networks, gaining media exposure is not about just contacting the right reporters. Marketing today has changed drastically as well. Old-school mentalities and mindsets still hold firm to tried and true methodologies such as broadcast commercials, print advertisements, and direct mail, and such campaigns still yield effective results. However, new modes of reaching your audience and measuring that audience experience are breaking through in innovative fashion.
Moz has a great simple definition for publicity and PR that help distinguish between the two concepts and also demonstrates where marketing and PR intersect::
- “‘Public Relations’ refers to external communications and the management of relations with all of an organization’s ’publics,’ such as government agencies, influencers, local communities, and financial analysts.
- ‘Publicity’ refers to the specific marketing strategy within the promotion mix that increases public awareness through media.”
Publicity is much more of a shotgun approach, attempting to garner as much coverage in the press as possible, without much room for nuance or ability to influence perception. The downside is that in addition to positive publicity, you may also attract some that is not so beneficial. Public relations is a much more detailed and targeted management of a brand’s reputation through sharing strategic information with specific contacts and, unfortunately, sometimes crisis management. PR is much broader, and typically much more valuable.
As progressive content creators, we push ourselves to create and distribute the best content that reaches our target audiences. Besides the obvious changes in marketing, including speed of information exchange, measuring audience response and experience is just as important to determine success and next steps in campaigns.
Both marketing and public relations campaigns are much more dynamic and responsive than in the past. Years ago project timelines were much more stringent and developed months in advance. While that may still be the case in some instances, the fluctuation of attention spans and audience reception windows dictates a need for an extremely dynamic approach, and new technology is giving us that opportunity.
Recently, the Huffington Post published a thought-provoking article focusing on inbound marketing and SEO. Today it is import in PR and marketing that we leverage SEO in all of our online content spaces. I agree with the article in that “without SEO, you’ll struggle to get the right kind of traffic, forcing you to rely on paid advertising and word of mouth. But, without inbound marketing, your SEO efforts wouldn’t pay off as well, if at all.”
The same applies to PR, without a multilateral approach that focuses on leveraging data analytics, not only can you not track your success, how do you prove your success to your clients?
Today we can get very granular with data. For example, Nissan is able to track fine changes in ROI and campaign success. They experienced great success by tailoring their campaigns to easily trackable audiences, “low hanging fruit” in their words. Using both first and third party data, they are able to target and track very narrow or wide audience segments.
Depending on the market, audience and product this can be implemented many ways. And it’s one our specialty offerings here at ARTÉMIA.
Should you have any questions or would like more information about PR, marketing and content services, please reach out!