Public relations and inbound marketing are two hot keywords in the marketing industry. But what are they? What do they mean for your organization? And how can they work together to bring the most value to your business?
For those not as familiar with these two facets of marketing, here's a quick rundown.
Public Relations 101
According to the Public Relations Society of America, “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” A public relations strategy can help increase awareness for an individual or an organization, it can help build relationships with the media, and it works to create or preserve a positive image.
To be successful in public relations, you must focus on the needs of your company, the media, and your audience. You can’t focus on one without the other two in a successful PR strategy.
Something that PR and inbound marketing have in common is thought leadership. In public relations, you pitch your thought leadership to the media on a certain topic in your industry. In inbound, you create content that you publish yourself that is still educating your audience and showing your expertise. The difference here is where the content is published. In PR, the content can be written by a journalist or by the thought leader themself, but it will be published through a third-party outlet. This gives your content more credibility. With inbound, you usually publish the content yourself, and your audience knows it is coming from you.
Inbound Marketing 101
So, now you're thinking, “Okay, great, my PR and inbound marketing have things in common but are not the same, but wait—tell me more about inbound marketing.” You’re in luck! We love to talk about inbound marketing on the SmartBug Media blog.
Here is the quick and dirty version: Inbound marketing is about being found by customers by providing valuable content.
So, now that we have wrapped our heads around what inbound marketing and public relations should look like, let’s take a look at how they can work together.
1. Content, Content, Content
When it comes to public relations, it's all about the pitch and the relationships to take it the distance. What is the angle? What publication will find this most valuable? How can it be tied to current events? Once a PR professional has the topic, they'll pitch until that topic is picked up—or until it’s time to move on. After all, not every topic gets a bite. In inbound marketing, you take your topic, figure out what your audience needs to know about that topic, and get to writing. So, the question is: Why come up with similar topics for two different purposes when you could just repurpose one topic? Bingo! That is exactly what you should be doing.
Similar to inbound marketing, public relations cannot survive without continuous ways to prove expertise and thought leadership.
Use your inbound marketing topics and ideas to help create your public relations pitches and vice versa. There is no need to always reinvent the wheel. Also, with this strategy, you can ensure that your messaging and strategy align across all aspects of your marketing.