PR ≠ marketing. Boom, mic-drop.
As the CEO of a B2B tech PR agency, I have encountered many who mistake these fields as two different names for the same thing, with the same goals and outcomes. This way of thinking can be harmful to the end goals of both.
While there are many similarities, there are also crucial ways in which these two communication strategies diverge. And by thinking of public relations (PR) as an extension of marketing, CEOs and CMOs can weaken and destroy their own brand.
When you look at marketing goals, they are almost always based on generating qualified leads and feeding the sales team what they need to close deals. Thinking that PR exists to drive conversions in the same way that marketing does is missing the larger picture.
A one-off press hit can bring eyes to your product much like a one-off marketing campaign. But longer — even multiyear — PR campaigns can do something much more powerful. They can create brand equity.
Brand equity affects not just the entire funnel from top to bottom, but also all other areas of your business – executive visibility, recruitment, funding, customer retention, and more. Simply put: more people will know about your brand.
A well-positioned, contiguous marathon campaign can make your brand and executives true thought leaders, with your stakeholders instantly more interested in your messages.
If you invest the time and money in great PR people or an agency that truly understands your product, the result is respect and notability.
Thus, PR is most effective when it is given time to build real relationships between the media and your brand, between the media and your executives — with momentum building over time. PR isn’t just a marketing function; it supports all areas of your business if done right.
Brand equity and visibility are critical to the survival of any business. This is something Bill Gates understands, as he famously said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”
For the full article that ran on Forbes, visit: