Loudoun Clear Marketing is pleased to debut a new five-part series of blog posts discussing the most important trends in public relations and marketing.

Part One: The Fading Line Between Marketing & Public Relations

Public relations in 2019 is much different than it was in 2009, and barely resembles the way we did things back in 1999. Today’s PR strategies involve much, much more than drafting press releases and staffing events. Increasingly, marketing services are now demanded of public relations firms.

In 2019, public relations is multi-channel, highly strategized, and aims to deliver a clear message directly to a targeted audience, with or without a traditional media outlet (newspaper, magazine, etc.). Essentially, the techniques of PR are evolving to become more and more like the techniques of business marketing – and Loudoun Clear Marketing is well positioned to guide clients in the effective use of them all.

In times gone by, the only effective way to communicate a brand’s message – whether that brand was a not-for-profit organization or a for-profit multinational conglomerate – was to either 1) earn media hits by convincing reporters to write stories about the company/organization, or 2) buy advertising. The former is the responsibility of Public Relations; the latter is in the domain of Advertising/Marketing.

Nowadays, we have the Internet, websites, social media, YouTube, etc. There are so many more ways a corporation or a charity can get its message out there, in addition to articles and ads. In today’s PR/marketing environment, custom strategies require an “all-of-the-above” mindset – press releases, newspaper articles, blogs, web content, social media posts, public-facing events, etc., all stemming from a single, coherent, consistent message. It’s a concept known as “integrated marketing communications.” There’s a scholarly essay on the subject at https://www.nku.edu/~turney/prclass/readings/mkting2.html.

So what to do? How does an organization ensure its brand conveys the precise message it needs to, with so many different ways to convey that message?

Consistency of your message is paramount, no matter how it’s coming across. From an online ad to a Facebook cover photo, from the slogan on your business cards to the words you use when being interviewed by a reporter, it is crucial that your brand’s message is the same, regardless of communication channel. If your message is distinctive and sets your organization apart, then opportunities for earned media hits are enhanced even more. In this way, marketing and PR literally work together to spread your message and shape your brand. 

You can expect that marketing and PR will continue to meld together in 2019 and the years to come – and you can also expect that companies employing a modern, integrated communications team will benefit the most in this brave new world.

About Loudoun Clear Marketing: LCM was founded in 2002 in Leesburg, Virginia, by Sharon L. Wright, who brings more than 30 years of local, national and international experience in the fields of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations. She has established a team of high-performing professionals to serve the PR outreach and strategic marketing needs of clients throughout Loudoun County and Northern Virginia, bringing customization, community connections, and technological know-how to every project.

LCM is heavily involved with a variety of non-profit organizations serving Loudoun, and works closely with for-profit companies to enhance their brand within the NoVA region. Learn more about Loudoun Clear Marketing at LoudounClearMarketing.com. Turn It Up!