This blog post isn’t titled “Secrets of ______” or “How to Make Your ____ Go Viral In Just one Step.” No. Because there is no one “miracle” tool or method out there that will change the outlook of your brand or organization forever. What immediately comes to mind for me is the cover of the book “Marketing in the Round” by Gini Dietrich and Geoff Livingston which stresses that in the digital era, an integrated marketing campaign is needed to drive more value and results – it’s not all about one medium or tactic. I completely agree.
What’s currently in your PR and marketing toolkit? If you’re not seeing these two disciplines as one, that is your first silo to destroy. What makes public relations and marketing one and the same are the tools and the methods we use to communicate – not to mention the goals of both departments mirror one another. Below I’ve busted five myths that should help exemplify why your toolkit shouldn’t just rely on one of the many marketing tactics out there:
Myth #1: Social media is all you need. I’ve been asked if it’s alright to have a Facebook page instead of a website and I say “no” every single time. Social media should not be the hub for your brand. Social media are the spokes in your hub and spoke model – think of a bicycle wheel. Social media is an amazing supplement to your marketing and PR efforts that gets you closer to your prospects, customers, stakeholders and influencers without actual physical proximity. It also puts you where your audience is the most– and that’s online. But it’s not the save-all for a brand.
Myth #2: A single press release will land you on the front page of the New York Times. This is a common misconception about the role of press releases today. Though it could happen, the likelihood is awfully low. What makes your press release matter? Keywords, links and multimedia for SEO, the newsworthiness of it to your prospects or clients, and a PR strategy around that release that includes tailored messages sent to members of the media that you’ve taken the time to establish relationships with.
Myth #3: Email is dead. Email marketing’s ROI for 2011 was $40.56 for every $1 invested. This year, email will have accounted for $67.8 billion in sales. And according to results Vocus’ email marketing survey, email marketing remains the most used type of marketing among SMB’s by budget share.
Myth #4: PR is an old-school tactic, so I should place less emphasis on it. Remember #2? That press release isn’t worth anything if you don’t share it socially, summarize and repurpose it, and create relationships with bloggers or members of the media who are genuinely interested in your information. That supposedly “old-school” PR is one of the most important tools in your arsenal.
Myth #5: Marketing or PR pros don’t need to know anything about customer service or technical issues. I see this every day – it’s prevalent in blog posts, on social media, and published in books by influential marketing authors. Whatever department you are in, you must provide a phenomenal customer service experience. Even if you don’t know how to answer complex technical issues (trust me, a customer will ask you at some point), you should know the basic FAQs and exactly who to get the answer from, so you can route the inquiry painlessly. This creates a positive brand experience that shows your customers that you can provide efficient customer service, no matter the department they reach.
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