I’ve been thinking about the benefits of integrated PR and the common questions raised by clients. A range of queries such as ‘how can I leverage my offline PR activities?’ and ‘what is integrated PR?’ led me to believe that such questions deserve a blog post so marketers could also benefit from this insight. After all, if clients are questioning PR’s purpose, how many more are there? In most cases brands perceive marketing communication as separate online and offline activities, without giving much thought on how this perception can deeply affect its marketing activities. With this in mind, I wanted to raise the importance of integrating PR, so great ideas are pushed to the right consumers at the right time without overloading the balance sheet.
No longer should traditional PR be seen as a separate discipline from online PR. Marketers must learn to measure and integrate traditional and non-traditional approaches as complimentary disciplines, to fully enhance their marketing communications through consistent brand messaging. Although the logic may seem obvious, this is overlooked across a variety of industries. An integrated approach to your PR activity will leverage your SEO impact on the search engine results page (SERPs) and sustain a strong brand message to your consumers both online and offline. It will facilitate a 360 degree view of your brand through carefully executed content that aligns all media messaging and brand propositions.
Only a marketing agency that has a thorough understanding of your online activity and customer behaviour will understand what is actually driving your consumers. Delivering integrated PR will take into account an analysis of the client’s financial targets, business goals and online activity trends of the customer journey. Using this information means your offline marketing messages will have a better impact as your messaging will be unified as one voice, maintaining its tone and delivery on all touch points.
It’s important to remember integrated PR should not just drive traffic but increase brand awareness that is consistent across all channels. The ROI in combining online and offline PR also means you have a stronger insight into measuring your campaign’s effectiveness and what is actually driving website visits or footfall. In addition, one agency overseeing your integrated PR means you can streamline online and offline activities, so you are only one phone call away from all your marketing communication needs.
To be cost effective and efficient brands must embrace integrated PR and avoid separating it into two disciplines. Take for example leading luxury brand Burberry who reportedly invest 60% of their marketing budget in digital channels1 . Their innovative approaches, such as ‘click to buy’ Burberry films and ‘runway to reality’ VIP app are good examples of how to combine activity.
Interestingly, Burberry announced an 8% rise in revenue – £883 million – for the first six months of 2012, followed by a 6% increase for the second half2 . Demonstrating leapfrogging competitors with innovative, integrated campaigns cuts through existing marketing ‘noise’ in the competitor landscape. So, if brands want to reap such rewards they must learn to blur the lines between online and offline PR before it’s too late.
1 & 2 http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/burberry-celebrates-london-this-christmas/4004678.article