The following post was originally published at the Adashmore Creative blog on November, 3. 

Who feels like they are an expert in both marketing and public relations? All too often, businesses tend to think of marketing and PR as one and the same. Even worse, some companies tend to define marketing as responding to RFPs, while public relations is often reduced to sending out news releases. Obviously, that explanation only scratches the surface (and probably the reason some executives discount the importance of both disciplines).

Given that, let’s start with some basics. While today we hear about everything from relationship marketing to content marketing, marketing ultimately comes down to developing a demand for a specific product or service and fulfilling the customer’s needs. Public relations, on the other hand, is defined as the strategic communications process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their audiences.

Clearly, you can see how PR and marketing tend to be joined at the hip, with both supporting a company’s sales efforts and/or advancing an organization’s overall business objectives. While we may be a little biased, the most successful organizations tend to be the ones with cohesive marketing and PR programs working side-by-side to promote a business. Think of marketing and PR like peanut butter and jelly or milk and cookies – they just go together.

What, then, are the benefits of a coordinated communications program, incorporating both marketing and PR?

Credibility

Utilizing marketing activities, such as compiling and analyzing data, informs public relations in order to create meaningful content. Having hard data from the marketing department can help PR to sharpen its audience focus and refine the tactics it employs. That, in turn, brings added credibility to the PR effort and a direct correlation between activities and results.

Consistency

Today’s business prospects and clients are bombarded with a seemingly limitless stream of information and an endless number of options. Surprising as it sounds, the average individual is hit with between 4,000-10,000 brand messages per day! As a result, psychologists have determined that it takes a minimum of seven mentions for a brand to even begin to register with the intended target. To cut through all of that “noise,” businesses need to constantly remind their key audiences who they are, what products or services they offer, and why those products/services are preferable to those of competitors. Creating and then maintaining ongoing marketing and PR initiatives will help organizations to do exactly that.

Greater Awareness

By employing complementary marketing and PR tactics, you will gain greater visibility for your business, helping you stand out from your competition. Marketing’s tactics are often focused on self-generated activities, such as company newsletters, electronic and printed materials, and brochures, while public relations activities are focused on earned opportunities, such as media coverage, awards, and speaking engagements. Through a cohesive communications strategy – utilizing both marketing and PR – a business will be able to expand awareness of their organization’s products or services.

Allow for Synergy

Marketing and PR can, and should, work together to better reach an intended audience. Because marketers and PR professionals already work in many of the same areas, it makes sense that their work could be done cooperatively. Marketing and PR need to share strategies, messaging, and information, and then coordinate on the tactics moving forward.

Unifying Messages

Both marketing and PR departments need to be on the same page – and use the same messaging – in order to optimize efforts and initiatives intended to reach current and prospective clients.

If you are not currently using marketing and PR in your business, consider starting off small, focusing on one or two priorities, or even a project. If your firm focuses on marketing, but doesn’t use PR – or vice versa – think about folding in the service and see how your business might benefit. After all, what good is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the peanut butter?