After working more than twenty-five years in the public relations field, I’ve seen numerous changes in the profession. In particular, I’ve observed a subtle blurring of the lines between PR and marketing. At first, it was because “marketing” became a catchall word used by many for anything to do with increasing awareness and/or supporting sales: advertising, speaking, and yes, public relations. It was semantics. However, with the relatively new concept of inbound marketing, I don’t see a blurring of the lines so much as I see a winning “one-two” punch combining these similar disciplines for our clients.
First, let’s be clear what “inbound” is, with this description from our friends at Hubspot:
To a seasoned PR vet, inbound sounds an awful lot like public relations. How? Well, by definition (see dictionary.com) PR is about credibility and awareness:
My colleague Robert Wynne gave a pretty good explanation in Forbes:
In PR we don’t buy ads for clients to get them covered in the news media, we instead identify what is most unique, credible and newsworthy about out clients and tell that story to the news media, industry influencers, and potential customers in hopes of getting them to say great things about our clients, (see earned media). We use tools like press releases, media relations, speeches, social media, podcasts, blogs and more to achieve those ends.
We help our clients achieve a high-status level of credibility through earned media and other efforts so that prospective customers seek them or their brand out. The ultimate success is when our clients become known to new customers (for want of a better word), then delight these customers so much that customers become brand ambassadors.
That, in essence, is what inbound marketing does. Not too far off from PR.
As detailed in the graphic above, inbound uses similar strategies and tools as PR–and inbound marketing has innumerable success stories. When an inbound marketing program is firing on all cylinders, a solid PR strategy complements it. You’re not only bringing prospects to you with inbound, but with PR in the mix, you’re also using an affordable, more effective version of outbound marketing in tandem.
At AGPR, we uniquely combine our knowledge of inbound marketing with decades of practical experience in PR and social media to become a powerhouse for our clients. We help them:
- Become known and get found for their expertise
- Use social media tools to drill down to their core audience
- Attract prospective clients from anywhere in the world
- Constantly connect with prospects–even while they sleep (a blog post that a prospect finds while searching the net is a good example)
- Become known as a thought leader in their industry or niche
- Get the kind of leads that have a reasonable shot at becoming customers. It’s great to have site visitors, but if the visitors are just kicking the tires, you’re almost no better off than if they never found you at all
- Monitor and measure to continuously improve their marketing for maximum effectiveness
Want to learn more? Check out this great post about inbound for your business.
For more great posts by Alex Greenwood, visit his blog at alexgpr.com/blog.