Guest Blog: It's Time for PR and Marketing to Get Together for Good

Megan Shroy
Megan Shroy

It’s not a secret: Those in the industry know PR and marketing often come from much different places. Traditionally, these teams operate in different departments, setting different goals and objectives, ideating different strategies, and measuring impact in different ways.

And that’s because PR and marketing come from different schools of thought.

Ask any subject-matter expert, agency exec or even your favorite college professor, and they’ll tell you the same thing:

  • Public relations focuses on building brand awareness and achieving a favorable public image by using tactics like media relations, public speaking and community engagement.
  • Marketing focuses on selling products and services, typically using tactics found in traditional advertising and lead generation campaigns.

But at the end of the day, isn’t the goal for both PR and marketing pros to help the organization be successful? And you can’t do that without working hand-in-hand.

In this day and age, the lines are blurred. Brand awareness alone isn’t enough to drive consumers to action. But, on the other hand, marketing products alone—without investing in the organization’s image—won’t build brand loyalists and advocates. The reality is that the two go together.

One way practitioners from both sides of the aisle are joining forces is by developing holistic plans that integrate paid, earned, shared and owned media. Commonly referred to as the PESO model, this approach helps both PR and marketing teams add value throughout the customer buying journey. As an added bonus, working this way helps streamline PR and marketing—practically guaranteeing it’s more efficient and effective.

Here are just a few ways working together benefits both PR and marketing efforts:

  • Establishing newsworthy angles: A constant challenge for PR pros is uncovering stories that will be of interest to traditional media. Many times, a big marketing promotion can be a key opportunity to reach out to editors and reporters and talk about what’s new with the organization. Are you prepping to launch a new product line? Does your startup give a portion of profits to charity? Is your company experiencing record-breaking growth? Use these as potential pitch angles to generate earned media.
  • Repurposing content: If content is king, then finding content that is interesting enough to use across multiple marketing channels is a unicorn. Often, PR and marketing teams fail to share content, meaning both teams are starting from scratch in the never-ending cycle of content creation. Having an integrated approach and working together means there should be a steady stream of content at everyone’s fingertips. Leverage earned media and influencer coverage to repurpose on owned channels. And, ensure these messages are reaching the right audience by using advertising dollars to promote content on social media or other platforms. 
  • Discovering additional ways to target and measure: Back in the dark ages,PR pros would measure earned media value by reporting impressions, with no way of knowing whom those impressions reached. Likewise, big marketing campaigns repeatedly tried to reach the largest audience. Fast forward to the present, and no PR or marketing pro wants to take a “shot in the dark.” By connecting and incorporating paid, earned, shared, and owned media, there are countless metrics to ensure the messages are targeting the right audience and achieving desired results. Think website visits, lead generation, social media engagements, online reviews, and more.

Now is the time for a water cooler conversation. If you work in the industry, particularly for a large organization that tends to be siloed, I challenge you to walk across the building and talk. Then, take it one step further and set up regular meetings to learn about the other department’s initiatives, projects, goals and challenges.

My guess is that—in a short period of time—you’ll find working together and sharing ideas will help both teams reach their goals and show measurable results.

Because it’s time to get together and work smarter, not harder.

Megan Shroy is founder and president of Approach Marketing, a boutique PR and marketing agency specializing in public relations, crisis communication, executive branding, social media and marketing strategy. To learn more, visit or connect with us on Facebook (@ApproachMarketingPR), Instagram (@ApproachMarketing) and LinkedIn (@ApproachMarketing).