In the past, public relations and marketing used to be separate areas in business, and while they occasionally worked together, they both stayed in their areas and protected their turf.
Now, though, with the world and media moving as quickly as it does, it’s not enough to have separate groups in a business, but have all the facets of a company working together. While a small business might not have marketing departments and public relations departments, the same holds true: you need to align marketing, messaging and public relations to make sure you have a consistent message for the consumer, for the business partners, for potential customers. That consistent message is more than just press releases and marketing materials. That message needs to extend to all that your company is doing, for example Website look and feel, brochures and press releases, media outreach, any point-of-sale materials at the company.
One recent example is Skype. I like Skype. Skype works well for me, it’s great for overseas clients, and the PR machine has done quite well.
One Problem – the Skype PR messaging does not match the Skype blog and Skype homepage messaging. I look at the site, and think “tweens and children” I don’t think “businessmen, corporations, security.” When I read about Skype in the media, though, I thinkg “VoIP, secure, low-cost calls.” Very different messages.
Something to mull over – does your marketing message match your PR messages? Does the Web presence match PR? If not, there is a disconnect that needs to be figured out, and you have to decide what the full message for the overall business is going to be.
In PR, that’s the fun of message development. Who do you want to reach? Who is your core customer? Who is the demographic you are trying to reach? Then, you craft such messages to reach those groups. For any campaign, you should have five to seven messages, and you hope that the public and the media walks away with those key points. Those key points, though, should be communicated throughout all materials: blogs, Websites, brochures, press releases, media talking points.
Then, you have a consistent message for the company, one that should resonate with the consumer.