Public relations is perhaps the oldest form of marketing. As such, some digital marketers may view it as a world apart from their own and ignore it because it seems irrelevant. But in our view, nothing could be further from the truth. PR is a vital part of marketing automation. Here are some reasons.
- PR is an important source of written content. Marketing automation needs large amounts of well-written content, and PR can feed that machine. PR departments (or firms) help to refine messages, arrange interviews with trade publications, place articles in those publications, write whitepapers, and develop web pages. These are perfect adjuncts to a drip marketing campaign because prospects on the sidelines will only pay attention to something new – not regurgitated sales talk. Customer wins, product releases and awards are a few of the types of news tidbits that work very well for such a campaign.
- PR is very useful for SEO. Consultants always emphasize the need for backlinks (other sites linking to your site via a keyword in the anchor text). Content syndication (other sites that display press releases or report news) can generate more organic traffic. In turn, this could result in more form fills on your site and opt-ins for nurturing campaigns.
- You can create social buzz with PR. It’s easy to create Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages, but it’s hard to engage an audience on an ongoing basis. PR can publish on those platforms and maintain interactions. Again, this can drive traffic to your website and could result in more form fills. But fundamentally it’s about having sustained conversations and relationships in places and spaces where prospects want to be.
The digital world has created (and will continue to create) a plethora of communication channels that require care and feeding with credible content. Having a good public relations plan is more important than ever for building prospect relationships via marketing automation.