The evolution of Marketing and PR, with the advances of technology, means that amazing, measurable, cost effective and successful integrated campaigns are now increasingly possible. Fast scale-up tech businesses, such as Blink, have used combinations of Digital Marketing and PR in cost-effective ways, escalating and accelerating their route to global success.
It helps that Marketing and PR as disciplines are ever more measurable and ever more similar. Marketing and PR, advertising and social media campaigns are moving closer to each other and overlap in how they are planned and delivered.
Growing expertise of remote working, initially enforced by the pandemic, using entirely online systems and processes, and providing more instant measurable results, is now opening lots of doors in terms of how we all work together and integrate.
It makes complete sense for our customers that we integrate these disciplines and provide a seamless, customer focused, story led approach for brand communications. It’s also much more rewarding to become a part of the client team and look at the business growth and brand boost challenges and opportunities from the business point of view. Solving problems and delivering longer term solutions as a trusted partner with a client makes much more sense than providing a few individual bits of marketing and PR outputs. An effective integrated set of marketing and PR strategies provides clients with the most effective parts of the marketing mix at the right time, seamlessly integrated with other elements of marketing and PR. This should be straightforward but is it?
The challenge of integrating PR and marketing
Let’s face it – integrated service delivery involves losing the smooth edges, the boundaries of individual expertise, the boxes in which we know our particular expertise can sit separately from our colleagues. This can feel uncomfortable.
George Bernard Shaw remarked that the UK and USA are two countries divided by the same language. It is similar with Marketing and PR (or strategic communications). The processes of understanding business goals, who we are targeting, whether customers or other stakeholders, where we will find them and what we need to say to resonate with them and then how we measure the effect of our efforts in terms of business success is the same essentially, across these disciplines. The terminology and approach can be different.
Strategic communications, or PR, still has an identity problem. From my years of PR qualification collecting, I know that PR is just one element of strategic communications. From those same years spent with customers, I know that customers reference PR more often than strategic communications and many customers and practitioners alike are hazy about the definition of both!
Added value for clients from integrated services
It’s challenging to get it right but when you truly integrate you foster:
- The opportunity for SMEs and larger businesses alike to have the best pieces of the most useful marketing and PR elements at any one time with a flexibility to switch as required
- Greater innovation as a consequence of the collaboration of a multi-disciplined team of experienced communication professionals
- Better visibility and understanding of how the components of marketing services work together and therefore a better service delivery for the client
- A more client focused approach with all of the team taking responsibility for working towards delivering shared business goals, enabling the client to get on with running their business
- Less jargon, duplication and avoidance of disjointed, disorganised outputs
Defining Integrated services
For us this means ….
Tailoring a range of marketing and PR component services to produce a combined, harmonious suite of services with a unity of purpose and unified systems control. This minimises time and cost and maximises results. These integrated services are brookscomm delivered, client delivered, and/or a combination of both.
Some businesses talk about integrated services but, in reality, offer a number of different marketing and PR services being delivered by different specialists working in silos. This can result in duplication of effort, disjointed messaging, delays, lack of clarity, and potentially failure to deliver business success.
To ensure the range of services are truly integrated and aligned to our customer’s business goals, there needs to be a focus on team information sharing and knowledge, underpinned by collaborative, efficient systems and processes. At brookscomm we are committed to team education and awareness plus effective shared, secure online systems and processes so that we provide the most effective tailored set of services in the most cost effective, time-efficient, and focused way possible.
This is not only better for profit but also better for people and the planet. Something we are very committed to. But more on integration and sustainability next time!
Finally, back to the human element, this is all and always will be a work in progress and we keep talking to our customers and to our team, sharing learning, rolling our sleeves up, and working really hard to deliver success and satisfaction for our clients.
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