Public relations (PR) and inbound marketing are both key concepts within the sales industry that ultimately drives the success of businesses that utilize them. While PR has been in the game far longer than inbound marketing, the two nevertheless cover similar territory when it comes to brand building and creating a meaningful relationship with consumers.
Businesses that use both old-school PR and new-school inbound marketing strategies often find an increase in qualified leads, so it’s important companies learn how to integrate the two.
PR vs. Inbound Marketing
In one corner, we have PR. The Public Relations Society of America defines PR as, “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
In the other corner, we have inbound marketing. HubSpot defines inbound marketing as, “an approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful — not interruptive. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.”
Now, the two actually appear to be very similar. Both processes seek to elevate the client business in a manner that makes them unique, trustworthy, and newsworthy. While independently they can work to drive leads, they both shine brightest when working together.
PR + Inbound Marketing
Even though a business may employ a solid inbound marketing strategy, proven PR techniques can actually complement it. PR brings in all the best and most recognized methods from older outbound marketing strategies and wholly supports new inbound efforts, which in turn maximizes their efficiency and effectiveness.
How exactly can PR and an inbound marketing strategy work together? Well, to answer this, it’s important to look at the overlap in methodology between the two.
Focus on Content
It doesn’t matter if you’re old or new school, content will always be king and the ability to create effective and engaging content can make or break businesses. PR and inbound marketing both approach content with a kind of voice that provides reliability and expertise, albeit going about it in slightly different ways.
PR content is usually pitched to and filtered by a third-party outlet, while inbound marketing has the content come directly from the source, often you. Although there are different layers of complexity, both rely on a sense of accountability that strives to prove one’s expertise and thought leadership.
In this regard, PR can actually support inbound topics and vice versa. For example, a topic created out of inbound methods can be properly distributed and promoted across all aspects of marketing using PR strategies. By working in tandem, businesses can ensure their messages are clear, concise, and consistent throughout.
Prioritize Social Media
Like it or not, social media matters and businesses must adapt to this new aspect of buying and selling or risk failure. Similarly, both PR and inbound marketing must evolve alongside new advances in communications and technology.
In the digital age, social media is alive and thriving, but businesses can’t simply create an account and expect success. Rather, there needs to be an active engagement with this new global audience.
However, not all social media networks are created equal, so marketing teams must remain vigilant in connecting their businesses to the correct platforms. Nevertheless, social media is a great way to display new products, promote special offers, and show a different and more fun side to your business. Although, that’s not to say traditional media is dead. Rather, the two can similarly support one another in the overall reach and effectiveness of your business’ marketing campaigns.
Rethink the Relationship between PR and Inbound Marketing
Although seemingly from two radically different schools of marketing, PR and inbound strategies can actually work together to drive success in your business. By supporting one another in all aspects of the buyer’s journey, PR and inbound marketing can connect with customers and, ultimately, make them feel a personal bond with your company.