is social media pitting marketing against PR?

In today’s lightning fast digital delivery world keeping marketing and public relations (PR) in separated cubicles is rapidly disappearing in the rear view mirror. All internal and external communication, digital and traditional, marketing and PR are on a daily convergence in today’s business model. Today the customer is in control and a tweet can make it around the world before your email gets opened by the first person on the approval list! This means that the organizational charts of marketing, PR, customer service, and internal communication should be becoming more integrated toward the business and the customer.

Knowing the speed at which customers get information, issues an order or shares a complaint and as our traditional geographical borders become less relevant, social media is a great way to merge your marketing and PR to do terrific things to build your brand and react to the customer. Today customers listen to each other long before your sales force, marketing or PR departments have a chance to get to them. Enter social media, allowing a relationship between marketing and PR to support each other and react in real-time. Social media removes the traditional media filter allowing the business to speak directly to their audience. Businesses also need to keep in mind that social media is a two-way dialog which allows the customers to have an infinite ability to filter out messages as well, so extreme care needs to be given to this channel of communication.

Social media adds the opportunity for a dialog with a business’s traditional marketing and PR campaign. Marketing’s role is to build a collection of perception in the mind of the consumer and both social media and PR are about building and maintaining relationships, a natural fit for customer engagement. Social media allows you to communicate directly with communities by connecting on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others.

Small businesses can now connect with the press on Twitter with engaging conversation leading to the opportunity to build a strong relationship. It’s important to be known as a source of useful information; people want value from communication. Establishing these types of relationships allow a chance to pitch a product or service or crisis control once you have established trust and credibility. Building relationships with bloggers and others can allow your story, product announcement or other relevant news to easily be picked up and shared. Stressing the importance of being authentic, the most challenging part to be accepted in a social media community is your messaging mix, too much you and they will turn off, just enough and they will adopt.

With marketing and PR there is always a need of measurement: are we driving traffic, adding people to our market, shifting perceptions? Now measuring progress, result and yes failures is also lightning fast with Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and many more monitoring and measurement companies in the market place. Quantitative or qualitative, outcomes or outputs, you can’t have one without the other and today’s tools allow for real-time data and numbers with insight and context bringing the marketing and PR teams even closer together.

Building a social media platform is essential to get the most out of traditional media placements. Social media helps push marketing and PR to new and unique places. Use social media to engage people at each major touch point, by focusing in this way, you will enhance all your traditional marketing and PR activities as well as building a digital DNA for your brand.

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