When I wrote this blog post admittedly I was thinking about what traditional public relations value I could bring to a marketing or PR team. But, the more I talked with my peers and quite frankly looked back over the past year of what I was really doing, I realized that it was more than just “PR.” So, I thought it would be helpful to jot down not how PR has evolved or why it isn’t working or how it’s dead, but how it is being transformed.

Integrated Communications is the NEW Integrated Marketing

Well, integrated marketing isn’t being replaced. There’s just a new sheriff in town. Integrated Communications – as I define it – is the integration of communications best practices and platforms.

For example, I helped a client get a feature story placed within InformationWeek on his approach on the future of big data. It used to be that a salesperson would take a link from that article and email it to his prospects. Not so much anymore.

Today, I partner with MarTech professionals who are using content validated by third parties as part of their marketing funnel. Here’s how it works.

1.      The article is posted onto social, then goes into a marketing technology solution such as SharpSpring and is turned into a lead generation tool.

2.      The initial outreach targets those who visited the social sites during the posting of the article and who in turn visited the client’s website.

3.      We then add on a survey or other kind of intake form to gather more information about that warm contact and build upon that relationship through an on-going dialogue between the prospect and the brand.

And, that’s only one example.

SEO is More Complex Than Ever

No PR person can claim to truly understand the nuances of SEO unless they have an SEO partner by their side. With the move – about two years ago – of Google to re-index how they make content appear on the search engine results page (SERP), there’s a lot more to SEO than just adding in a bunch of keywords and links into press releases, blog posts, or any other online content.

It truly takes an SEO professional to review each piece of content before it is placed online. Link strategies are also a critical component of an SEO plan that cannot be created by a PR team without an SEO partner on-board.

Social Media Marketing without Advertising is a Waste of Time

This will not come as a surprise to many as we’ve all seen our reach and impression numbers fall if we’re only counting on the organic nature of posts to move the needle forward.

Social media posts must be promoted. Additionally, those posts must be A/B tested and targeted appropriately. To not spend a modest amount of your marketing dollars on this tactic is a waste of anyone’s time and budget.

Sure, the PR person can be very creative with their social media marketing copy and have initial lift, but alas may find out that they can extend the success of their posts with a conservative spend on an engaging message.

Conclusion

These are only three examples of how PR is being transformed in the new age of digital marketing. As mentioned above, it is critical to work with PR professionals who understand the bigger picture of how PR can be leveraged to not just create brand awareness, but also generate leads and sales.

Also in need are MarTech, SEO and other digital partners who understand PR enough to help communications teams extend their content to the “right people at the right time.”

The previous quote is really an old adage, but one that has weathered the ages and is ridiculously current as we have never been able to connect brands with their potential customers as ever before.