PR Collaboration: Don’t Be Afraid to Take the Lead
If you work in public relations, you’re not a lone wolf. Chances are, you collaborate with any number of other departments within a company or client’s organization.
The question is, how do you collaborate effectively?
Truth be told, collaborating with other teams within the organization can be a challenge.
PR Collaboration: Why It’s So Important
PR plays a dual role in collaborating with other teams, says Scott Kaminski.
“We’re the adult in the room, depending on the project and the goal. We can give big picture insight, explaining that if the company does this, here are the potential effects of it,” Kaminski says.
“The other role is to ensure that the message that’s conveyed aligns with the company’s voice, while also satisfying what the various departments are trying to say.”
While departments may be competitive with one another, PR can help bring everyone together for the overall good of the company.
“Not everybody is going to walk out of the room with their ego fully intact—but sometimes that’s the point,” Kaminski explains. “Ultimately whatever we’re doing is about protecting the reputation of the company—making sure the way we present ourselves to our markets and our audiences is in line with our brand. That’s the lens through which everything needs to be viewed.”
What Are Some Ways PR Can Work Effectively with Other Departments?
PR and Customer Service
Customer service is sometimes the first to hear of a crisis brewing. For example, on social media, both PR and customer service teams should be monitoring for any issues that may arise so they can be addressed before they mushroom.
PR and CX (Customer Experience)
Because poor customer experience can lead to unhappy customers, it makes sense for PR and CX to work together. On the flip side, if customers have a positive experience, they may make good candidates for success stories to share with prospects or references to offer to the media.
PR and Product Marketing
PR and product marketing should be working in tandem on new product launches. PR can help with tasks like messaging and media outreach and should be factored into product launch plans early on. The public relations team can also help coordinate and publicize any partnerships, events or reviews related to the product launch. They can write press releases, social media posts and video scripts.
PR and Sales
PR and sales should have a close working relationship. PR-driven content can help sales teams close deals. Sales can help public relations by bringing positive customer stories to the team that can be shared on the brand’s site, as well as with journalists and on social media.
Tips for Successful PR Collaboration with Other Departments
To make collaboration efforts more fruitful, here are some practices public relations teams can include in their day-to-day interactions with other departments.
Having regular meetings to touch base can be helpful, says Madalina Grigorie, Communications Manager at Pusher.
“My role is to help our company craft and share relevant stories for our audiences. The way to find those stories is through cross-team collaboration. Catching up with my colleagues regularly helps me understand what they do and their priorities. It also helps me think strategically about how we could better communicate our news and updates.”
Another tip to build a more collaborative environment? Bring PR in early on, says Kaminski. Don’t wait until the last minute.
“Sometimes – too many times – PR is brought in at the last minute. But if PR does actually have a seat at the table, mistakes are less likely to happen. More often they can be caught beforehand.”
What happens if you choose to go it alone, without the benefit of the PR team’s wisdom?
“If you have executives or departments that are OK with trying to go it alone, that can lead to problems. It’s the difference between being proactive and reactive. Then PR’s role can become, ‘This is the mess we’re in now. How are we going to clean it up?’”
PR Collaboration for the Win
If the public relations team can work together in collaboration with other departments, it can foster more success for everyone. “This helps us reach our goals faster and helps the business overall,” says Grigorie.
For a comprehensive discussion on shared goals and how to track them, and ultimately drive optimal results, read our ebook, Everything You Need to Know to Prove PR ROI.