Public Relations – A vital component in Marketing Strategy

The term Marketing Communications has been coined as an outcome of the combination of Marketing and Public Relations, emphasising the fact that Marketing and PR/Communications go hand in hand and complement each other. Over a span of many years we have seen a growing acknowledgement of this fact by various organisations who focus equally on both the functionalities, often combining them under one department.

Having said that, many organisations still make the error of not considering public relations as a continuous exercise after the launch period. They do not give any thought to a sustained PR and immediately shift their energies towards sales and profitability. What needs to be clearly understood by such organisations is that Public Relations, press outreach and earned media coverage do not halt at once after the launch. It must be part of any growing or established brand’s marketing toolkit and it should turn out to be a key part of a brand’s strategy.

There are various reasons that ensure public relations continues to play a key role in a marketing strategy. Once the launch of a brand is executed well, a good PR strategy can take it to the next level. Having been done well, landing a good coverage in major relevant publications (online, print, electronic) works towards benefitting the company as well as in helping the reader understand the brand well. A PR resource must pitch a brand story in such a way that it brings value to the reader. The content should be such that it continues to be referred to, by people, while talking about a specific brand.

Once the initial campaign has been worked upon, and the message has been chosen you have built your initial campaign and chosen to use on website, social pages, paid advertising and content marketing, PR team’s role becomes important to amplify the message with good press coverage. However, to get an absolute masterpiece story, the PR resource must only reach out to journalists who are within a specific niche and have written articles on similar subjects in the past. A generic mass mail sent out to a list of journalists, doesn’t get any mileage and becomes irrelevant.

Advertising about a brand on Facebook and Twitter does generate predictable results from a revenue perspective, but the unique nature of these platforms means the ads are open to feedback from the target audience. Since social platforms are open forums, many times the brand receives unpleasant messages or comments from people who have never heard of the company. It is good to launch campaigns from traffic generated from an article that has been pitched about the brand, in media. If the paid media route is taken, the brand can rest assured that the target audience is already familiar with their brand.

PR indirectly helps in numerous ways to create a niche for a brand, to create awareness about the brand to the right people, and to ensure that the brand gets persistently talked about.

It not only bolsters the company image, but, a good press outreach can often lead to unexpected results. It often helps in soaring revenues, and indirectly helps in making sales pitches.

What is of utmost importance is, to always strive to bring value and communicate effectively to readers and the journalists who are being pitched. The message being sent out must be a positive one and this must reflect in the writing. Blog posts, press releases and status updates should carry the brand personality.

There is no denying the fact that Marketing and Public Relations go hand in hand.

Ritu Bararia
A passionate Public Relations and Communications professional with a progressive experience of over 18 years, Ritu is an expert in the realm of Travel, Hospitality and Aviation. Her forte lies in strategising communication plans basis the essence of a brand with a strong focus on media management aiming to create focused visibility and awareness.

Some of her professional milestones include, setting up of Aviation Industry Group for CII, facilitating launch of India’s first Premium Airline – Kingfisher Airlines and establishing the brand in media as the official spokesperson, facilitating launch of Luxury Retail Brands like Porsche Design, Bally and strategising and executing launch of the brand Roseate Hotels and Resorts.

Prior to founding Little-joy Communications, Ritu was Group Head - Corporate Communications with Bird Group/Amadeus India.

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