PR today, marketing tomorrow: Why PR professionals need a marketer’s skill set to succeed

Since the advent of social media, professional communicators have had to collaborate in order to engage audiences, promote products and ultimately, make a profit for their enterprise.

Today, integrated marketing communications is the go-to PR practice for large enterprises operating in a global and often frenzied market, and can make all the difference to campaign success.

What is IMC and why is it important?

Integrated Marketing Communications – commonly referred to as IMC – is a cooperative communications framework merging PR, marketing, and other sales strategies in order to optimise and improve a brand’s overall message.

Not only is it beneficial to consumer engagement and client relations, but it also ensures branded messages remain consistent across multiple platforms – including advertising, print media, social media and internal communications like newsletters and other in-house publications.

Before PR professionals can implement a successful IMC strategy, however, they need to master some of the key skills marketers use every day – including research and data analysis, competitor analysis, content marketing as well as social media marketing.

With a marketer’s skillset and an appreciation for the work their marketing counterparts do every day, PR professionals will be able to implement new and integrated strategies in order to boost the profitability of their brand or enterprise.

Research and data analysis

Research and data analysis skills enable you to explore different markets, examine audiences, and identify industry or consumer trends before your campaign or product goes to market. For marketing professionals, research is crucial because it lays the foundations for large claims.

To keep up with your marketing team, you’ll need to learn how to dig deep into data and other resources in order to find insights relevant to your brand. While most research starts with a list of links from a search engine, don’t be afraid to delve further into online libraries as well as Government databases and reports. There’s a sea of information online, and having the ability to find relevant data will pay huge dividends later on.

Competitor Analysis

The ability to monitor, measure and analyse competitor activity are other key marketing skills you’ll want to develop for a successful campaign.

As a PR professional, you should already know your competitor’s media strengths and share-of-voice. However, you’ll also want to track your competitor’s marketing and advertising activity to know as much about their communications strategy as possible.

To do this, you’ll need to examine their previous campaigns and other promotional activity – including on and offline ads, eDMs as well as industry events. In time, you’ll begin to notice trends and behaviours, which you can then use to your advantage.

Content Marketing

The ability to create a variety of content suitable for a range of audiences is something PR professionals do every day. In a marketing context, this is referred to as content marketing or content creation, and not only includes copy, but also visuals, graphics and videography.

To extend your content creation skills – and be on par with your marketing counterparts – you’ll need to master the craft of photography, videography and graphic design, or at the very least understand how these elements work alongside copy to deliver a message.

Social Media Marketing

Today, the ability to create content, measure campaigns and gather insights on social media is crucial to brand success. Once you’ve mastered the skills associated with content marketing, you’ll need to learn how to effectively deliver this content via social media, and then monitor your activity to report your findings to the C-suite.

Take some time to learn each social platform’s algorithm and find out how to make the most of organic – or unsponsored – content. You can also use monitoring software like Meltwater to track online conversations, industry trends and competitor activity in real-time – building insights into how your message is being received and how you stack up against your competitors.

With these skills, and an understanding of how your marketing team operates, you’ll be able to implement an integrated communications framework within your organisation and build successful campaigns that not only engage consumers, but drive results.

About the author:

Mimrah Mahmood is the Asia-Pacific Regional Director of Media Solutions at Meltwater, where he helps numerous organisations break down media data (social, print and other), to create meaningful insights; build progressive and scientific frameworks to track efforts in PR and marketing; build road-maps to improve communications plans; and identify opportunities and threats that arise from competitors. As a leader within a multi-award winning company, Mimrah is a proud advocate of better measurement practices in PR, Brand and Strategic Communications. You can connect with Mimrah on LinkedIn

Want to find out how Meltwater can help deliver brand insights and competitive intelligence for your company? Click below!

The real value of agile content

Today, some of the world’s leading organisations and PR firms operate like news desks – creating and distributing written, visual and video content in real-time to engage audiences and demonstrate their authority.

By monitoring trends, news stories and online conversations – and by staying up to date with consumer interests – these organisations can create content that is relevant, timely and shareable.

In PR, this is called agile content marketing, or agile communications, and it is one of the greatest ways to engage key audiences and achieve quality share of voice on and offline.

The benefits

There are several benefits to agile content marketing – the key being the ability to create a lot more quality content in a lot less time.

Thanks to proactive processes and SCRUM-like frameworks, agile content marketers and communicators are able to work in teams to identify key trends before they take off in mainstream media – which means they can produce and distribute content before anyone else does. By doing so, these brands can establish authority and credibility on a variety of different topics – especially on social media where their content becomes infinitely shareable.

Agile content marketing also enables you to make changes to stories as world news and events change – keeping you one step ahead of the media. Consistent and relevant content also makes it much easier to dominate social channels and search engine results, which can drive consumers to your website, blog or social page.

Agile content vs Newsjacking

While similar in nature, agile content marketing and newsjacking are two distinct content creation styles. Newsjacking attaches your brand, product or business to a trending issue or popular news story in order to attract attention. In other words, it places your story within the news cycle after it’s already been initiated.

Agile content marketing however, places your content at the fore of the news cycle. This way, your content becomes the source of the news, and can be recycled by other brands and media outlets.

Becoming an agile communicator within an agile organisation

If you’re looking to implement an agile content marketing strategy within your own firm or enterprise, follow these three simple steps. With the right processes, research methods and team, you’ll be able to share timely, relevant content with your consumers in real-time – building awareness, integrity, credibility and authority.

1. Establish proactive processes

Before you employ a full-time agile content marketing team, you’ll need to establish proactive processes within your organisation. To do this, you should meet with your management team to agree on some simple content guidelines to reduce red-tape – especially in regards to editing, revision and approval. With proactive processes, you can have your content researched, created and shared much faster – often within hours instead of days.

2. Choose a research method: paid vs. free

To be an agile communicator, you’ll need to be the source of the news, and use different research methods to stay ahead of current affairs and consumer trends. To monitor online conversations and media topics use software like Meltwater or Google Trends. With premium services from software like Meltwater, you’ll have access to all the data you need in real-time – making it much easier to stay ahead of competitors and other media outlets.

3. Follow a SCRUM-like framework

SCRUM frameworks are used by software companies to develop new solutions and ideas quickly through teamwork. Today, the same structure can be used in marketing and public relations firms to create content rapidly. To follow a SCRUM-like framework, break your workload into individual actions and complete them within strict timeframes. You can then put all of the pieces together to create your desired result.

 

About the author:

Mimrah Mahmood is the Asia-Pacific Regional Director of Media Solutions at Meltwater, where he helps numerous organisations break down media data (social, print and other), to create meaningful insights; build progressive and scientific frameworks to track efforts in PR and marketing; build road-maps to improve communications plans; and identify opportunities and threats that arise from competitors. As a leader within a multi-award winning company, Mimrah is a proud advocate of better measurement practices in PR, Brand and Strategic Communications. You can connect with Mimrah on LinkedIn

Want to find out how Meltwater can help deliver brand insights and competitive intelligence for your company? Click below!

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