The value of integrated communications is not new, nor is it difficult to achieve, but I have noticed that there are still too many companies who operate in silo’s and especially when it comes to sales and marketing. The worst part is that PR is almost always on its own, which is the craziest thing ever. The one tool that has the strategic ability to manage the overall communications is treated as a long-distant cousin and fed information sporadically. There is so much value to gain by including PR in the mix from the get-go. The nature of PR immediately forces you to look at things more critically and from a customers’ point of view.
It takes you out of a comfort zone and helps you critically look at what you are wanting to say and to whom. This kind of information is so helpful when considering other marketing tools. It is often by talking to your PR team that solutions for a bigger issue may occur. I recently had a client who suspended his PR because of a bigger marketing issue, despite the fact that he had a consultant with 26 years of experience ready to assist. Only he saw me as his press release generator and not much else.
You can argue that this is my fault, but sometimes as a woman, some male clients don’t afford you the privilege of including you on bigger business discussions. It is frustrating to say the least, but not a battle worth my time or energy. The fact that he then engaged with a male consultant thereafter perhaps proves what I had long suspected. But, that aside, the reality is that if PR had been given the respect it deserves for not only what it does, but also what it knows and what it can do, a solution would have been found without wasting money and time as well as suspending activities.
Don’t silo your marketing and communications tools, work together with common objectives and use each tool to its maximum. It really is time that PR is recognised for the important role that it plays and the difference it makes to the overall marketing and communications mix.