Integrated Marketing: Why PR & Marketing Are Better Together


Individually, public relations (PR) and marketing serve many purposes, however it’s when these two functions are merged to create integrated marketing that the best results are yielded. Stay tuned as we explore tips and best practices for integration.

Understanding Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing isn’t exactly a new concept. For years, industry professionals have been urging the importance of developing a holistic view and plan for all mediums. However, some things such as this is easier said than done.

For many companies, there is still a tendency for marketing and PR to act independently. Just think of how many incredible opportunities are missed due to lack of integration.

Integrated marketing is critical as it allows a company to develop consistent and customer-centric communication across a variety of channels.

“From a strategic perspective, we’ve found that there’s much broader value to be had when a fully integrated communications plan is executed.”

    – Scott Merritt, Vice President of Media Relations, Dalton Agency

Scott Merritt,, Vice President of Media Relations at Dalton Agency summarizes the importance of integrating: “From a strategic perspective, we’ve found that there’s much broader value to be had when a fully integrated communications plan is executed.”

When PR and marketing work side by side to develop communication efforts, they are supporting the whole company rather than just their individual department.

Andre Filip, CEO of ELA Advertising seconds this as he believes starting with a tactic or one piece of communication can be a good start, but all communication needs to have a dotted line back to a holistic plan or overall message.

“Even if you are not planning to create an integrated campaign, the messaging should still tie back and integrate into something bigger than itself.”

    – Andre Filip, CEO, ELA Advertising

Filip continued, “Even if you are not planning to create an integrated campaign, the messaging should still tie back and integrate into something bigger than itself.”


Examples of Successful Integrated Marketing

TikTok – DJ Khaled April Fool’s

TikTok, DJ Khaled April Fool’s campaign is a great example of one key message dispersed into different tactics and expressions while holding on to the integrity of the campaign. 

Challenge

TikTok wished to tap into the trend of prank marketing. In addition to this, they sought a unique way to engage its existing users and drive new users to the platform.

Solution

As a fun April Fool’s campaign, ELA Advertising thought what if DJ Khaled were to become the new CMO, Chief Motivational Officer for TikTok? The answer, he would give you the “keys” to success. 

Key Tactics

  • They drove awareness for this campaign by utilizing DJ Khaled to announce that something big is coming on TikTok. This ignited his fanbase and pulled in net new consumers. This was paid off with a master video where he shares that he is the Chief Motivational Officer for TikTok and gives you the “keys” to success.
  • ELA also created an in-app experience in TikTok. This was fully branded and immersive with DJ Khaled providing more in-depth attributes of positive ways to be successful.
  • In addition to this, ELA took over DJ Khaled’s Instagram with an Ask Me Anything on Twitter. They also created TikTok in-app filters that allowed consumers to split-screen themselves with DJ Khaled.
  • Lastly, there was a 1-800 motivation hotline consumers could call to get additional “keys” from DJ Khaled. This resulted in impromptu social posts supporting the campaign and messaging. 

Results

  • Generated more than 19 million campaign video views and nearly 3 million likes
  • DJ Khaled’s TikTok gained more than 407,000 new followers
  • Exceeded all of the objectives in generating positive brand impressions, driving new user acquisition, and driving user retention through in-app participation

Learn more about ELA Advertising and this TikTok campaign here. 

Melbourne Metro Trains – Dumb Ways To Die

I apologize in advance for getting this song stuck in your head, but it’s such a great example of how you can spice up what is traditionally a boring public service announcement.

Challenge

Melbourne Metro Trains needed an advert that would capture attention, especially among the younger generations. And, rather than creating a serious ad they went the other direction with something a little more humor. Something that would grab attention while also getting across their public service message.

Solution

This challenge led to the creation of a catchy song and animated video entitled, “Dumb Ways To Die.”

Key Tactics

They didn’t just stop after the release of the video. Melbourne Metro Trains wanted this campaign to continue to last so they broadened their marketing approach. Soon they developed merchandise based on the characters, a mobile app, and even an educational book.³

Results

  • It was so catchy that within just 24 hours of its launch the song reached iTunes Top 10 chart
  • As a result of the campaign, Metro Trains saw a 21% reduction in accidents and deaths on its network
  • The mobile game hit No.1 in 53 markets

Tips For Integration

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” Well, this is super applicable to this particular topic. To create an effective campaign marketing and PR need to collaborate throughout the process.

Share Information

It is very common for departments to compete with one another. However, doing this does not have your company’s best interest at heart. Take advantage of all the brainpower from each department and share information with one another. There is no reason that the PR department has to conduct research that the marketing department has already done. Help a fella out and share data.

Create Common Goals

By sharing goals PR can fixate on strategies that help enhance marketing initiatives. For the integration to be effective, it is crucial that you develop objectives that align with corporate goals.¹

Don’t Force It

The worst thing you could do is force integration and end up creating an unnatural campaign. While you ideally may want to start with an integrated campaign, this isn’t always possible.

Filip explained, “There are times when there is already a campaign and message out there and we need to integrate new messaging into an existing campaign.”

“There are times when there is already a campaign and message out there and we need to integrate new messaging into an existing campaign.”

    – Andre Filip, CEO, ELA Advertising

In these situations, you need to find ways to integrate a new message into the existing campaign in a way that feels natural.

Filip concluded, “As long as these messages are not just bolted on and both agency and client have a relentless focus on strategic messaging, the expression of any new communication will flow rather than block the creative and narrative.”


A Look Into The Future

Year after year it becomes increasingly more difficult to find the distinction between PR and marketing. As the traditional form of these communications is modernized, the line between these two industries become more blurry.

According to the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s 2019 Global Communications Report, the integration between PR and marketing is an extremely important trend.

The reports predict that this trend will only continue to rise as 51% of survey respondents believe that the PR-marketing relationship will change by becoming more integrated.²

The Cause

Over the past few years, more and more companies are deciding to combine their PR and marketing efforts. But, why is this integration just recently beginning to occur? The same factor behind the evolution of communication is behind its integration….technological innovation.

Merritt, elaborated, “The introduction of new and innovative communication tools has expanded the concept of integration to a much greater degree.”

“The introduction of new and innovative communication tools has expanded the concept of integration to a much greater degree.”

    – Scott Merritt, Vice President of Media Relations, Dalton Agency

Research supports this as the 2019 Global Communications Report found that 59% of respondents believe technological innovation is a considerable factor for driving change in the PR industry.²

The Effect

The merge of these two sectors will do more than just create increased unified communication. It will also have an impact on how organizations structure themselves.²

In addition to this, it’s important to realize that the development of more innovative technology integration will apply to more than just marketing and PR.

Merritt explained that Dalton Agency’s current integrated plans now involve immersive experiences, augmented reality, virtual reality, and bespoke technologies that transform traditional events in ways never before considered.


Goes Beyond PR & Marketing

Image Source: Medium

Lack of integration isn’t just an issue of PR & marketing. It’s actually a much broader issue and really comes back to a lack of communication.

“Several business and communication disciplines help build and drive brands, reputation, and sales…”

    – Michael Cherenson, Executive Vice President, SCG Advertising + Public Relations

Michael Cherenson, Executive Vice President, SCG Advertising + Public Relations, indicates that “Several business and communication disciplines help build and drive brands, reputation, and sales…”

For your brand to be successful, each department needs to work with the same common goal in mind. Be sure to check this out if you’re interested in learning more about aligning communication and marketing agencies across your company.

References

¹ Medium | ² USC Annenberg | ³ Digital Marketing Institute |

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Nicole Schuster

Marketing Specialist at Agency Spotter
Nicole is a Marketing Specialist at Agency Spotter. She graduated summa cum laude from The University of Georgia with a degree in Public Relations and is looking forward to diving deeper into the marketing and startup world. In her free time, Nicole enjoys cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs and cuddling with her dog.
Nicole Schuster