Much has changed in the communications-based professional fields in recent years, and many of those changes have resulted in a large-scale integration—merging once separate mass communication disciplines, like marketing and public relations, into one vast-reaching channel.
To help savvy business owners better understand the integrative role of marketing and PR in today’s fast-paced global marketplace, we’ve created a two-part guide outlining the basics. You’ll learn what modernized public relations firms do, as well as how professional PR and marketing services can help your company grow.
Contemporary PR firms are multi-faceted entities—offering a combination of public relations and marketing services that effectively utilize both traditional and digital mediums. From search engine optimization (SEO) to electronic press kits, the techniques and tools employed by today’s PR professionals are almost wholly tied into that vast global system we call the Internet.
Altogether, the various dynamics of mass communication have cross-sectioned into a comprehensive and broad-reaching field known as Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). PR firms that subscribe to IMC-centered business philosophies typically specialize in the following three major digital initiatives:
- Content Marketing and SEO
With the majority of consumers now relying on the web for information, the importance of search engine rankings has skyrocketed. PR agencies have adapted accordingly by making website optimization and content generation top priorities. By utilizing specific tools—like keyword identification, backlinking and HTML coding—PR professionals can push client sites to the top of organic search result lists, thus driving web traffic and effectively increasing both visibility and reputability.
- Email Newsletters
Direct mail marketing has evolved into digital form, and today’s web-savvy PR firms are reaching their audience base through electronic means. One particularly popular and effective tool is the e-newsletter, a periodic publication designed to engage customers through relevant content that may include event calendars, discount coupons or other incentives and just about anything else deemed “newsworthy” within your company culture.
- Social Media Marketing
There is perhaps no more powerful online tool available to Houston PR firms right now than social media. As a particularly valuable type of “earned media” (the converse of “paid media”), social networks offer a unique opportunity to reach audiences on a direct and even personal level without driving up overhead costs. Business pages and accounts on vastly popular sites like Facebook and Twitter are free to create and maintain—offering PR professionals an expansive range of direct communication opportunities (from simply creating buzz to gaining valuable insight about a target customer base) that won’t tack on additional cost for clients.