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The 2024 State of the Media Report

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How PR and Marketing can Work Better Together

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Last week Cision and PRWeek sat down with a panel of top comms experts, including Megan Tweed, US Head of Performance Communications at Edelman; Sunita Menon, Executive Director, Chief of Staff to CCO at IBM; and our very own Product Marketing Manager Seth Gilpin, to discuss the age-old topic of integration with PR and marketing.  

There are countless resources mapping out ways for PR to fully integrate with marketing. While there is no quick fix solution to this ongoing issue, our panelists did discuss some insightful ways to achieve this within any organization. 

How do you best ensure that the marketing and comms teams are working together towards a truly integrated brand strategy? 

“One this they need to work together on is to understand the audience engaging in the content,” said Sunita. “What matters at this point: is the message resonating? How is the brand perceived? And what is the favorability towards the brand? This is where marketing and communications need to work together. Even if communication is part of the marketing function, it doesn’t happen organically; it has to be prioritized.”  

What is the key for brands to see how their content is truly impacting their key audiences' activity?  

Seth Gilpin, Cision’s own Product Marketing Manager said that “we all know the power of PR– but the challenge is do you have the data to prove it?” 

This is a challenge that PR has always struggled with. In order to have a seat at the table you need to prove the work you are doing is having a true impact on the business. While we know that earned media touches audiences in so many stages of the buyer's journey, simply showing the amount of articles you were mentioned in won’t prove the full value of PR.  

“This is a new muscle for comms,” says Megan Tweed, “we need to get comfortable establishing a measurement framework, it helps your team organize everything you’re creating into the world.”  

In your opinion, how do you best integrate earned media throughout a brands communication efforts? 

There seems to be a reoccurring theme in order to help wedge the gap between PR and marketing, and it's accepting that “you may not be in the business of data, but data is in your business,” said Sunita Menon. “Once you’re able to understand your data, you can figure out how it works with marketing, brand and other teams across the company. Build the measurement framework and understand the insights."

Megan Tweed added to the conversation by saying that “it needs to happen at an audience level. The best stories are the ones that your audience tells. Using a small stack of technology to capture the audience data can help you discuss performance with all the various marketing counterparts which then allows your team to have a driven voice, creative strategies, and will ultimately help you understand the audience and bring something of value to the table.”