John R. Kowalski Integrative Marketing Fusion

Silent (but Deadly) – PR in Your Marketing Mix

Silent (but Deadly) – PR in Your Marketing Mix

PR, public relations, media relations, news release

The marketing mix is usually made up of four key elements: product, price, place, and promotion. There’s another important element that often gets left out of the mix: public relations. PR in your marketing mix is too often silent (but it’s deadly if used correctly) in the marketing mix.

PR is vital to any marketing strategy, yet it’s often overlooked or given less attention than other areas of the mix. This is a mistake! PR can be a powerful tool for boosting brand awareness, generating leads, and driving sales.

If you’re not using public relations in your marketing efforts, you’re missing out on a crucial piece of the puzzle. In this post, I’ll explore why PR should be part of your company’s marketing mix and share some tips on how to get started. And we’re off!

public relations, b2b, marketing, PR, marketing mix

Defining public relations – what is it and why do you need it

Typically, when people hear the term “public relations,” they think publicity. It’s far more than that though. Public Relations (PR) is marketing function and an indispensable part of any successful strategy and mix. I also see it as a cornerstone of an integrated marketing communications strategy. It’s about engaging with your customers, maintaining a positive reputation, and going beyond what your advertising can do. It helps in building relationships and finding the perfect balance between how you want to be portrayed, and how the public perceives you.

Through physical and digital channels such as media relations, influencer advocacy, content generation, and event management among others. You can establish trust with customers by letting them know exactly what it is that you do – in practical terms with real-world implications. Take the time to understand your target audience. This is what PR can help you achieve. And apart from bringing in more customers or navigating through crisis, being involved with public relations also keeps you ahead of the competition.

The benefits of PR – what can it do for your business or brand

There are a lot of benefits to including public relations in your marketing mix and strategic communication programs. Whether it’s getting the word out about your business or brand, increasing visibility around the products and services you offer, developing trust with stakeholders, or building an engaged audience, PR can have a lasting impact on your success. But it’s not just about visibility. Done right, it also creates opportunities to increase sales and customer loyalty by showcasing the value of your products and services as well as highlighting stories that demonstrate why customers should look to you for their buying needs. Good ol’ thought leadership and a way to communicate your company’s key messages. With public relations, you can expand awareness, create supportive relationships with influencers, deepen customer connections and ultimately help grow your business into the powerful success story it can be.

Crisis PR

Another important part of PR is crisis communications. This is when PR professionals step in to protect the image and reputation of their clients or employers. When a PR disaster strikes, it’s essential to respond quickly with a well-thought out PR strategy that is tailored specifically to each situation. This could involve issuing press releases, issuing apologies on social media, engaging with customers or stakeholders directly via PR channels, and working with the media to control any damage to your brand’s reputation. PR professionals are invaluable in times of crisis, as their knowledge and experience can help protect a company from long-term PR fallout when handled properly.

How to use PR in your marketing strategy – practical tips and advice

public relations, PR, marketing mix, publicity

Knowing how to effectively use public relations in your communications strategy can be the difference between success and failure. Using tactics such as earned media, influencer marketing, news or press releases, and developing relationships with industry leaders can help you spread your message beyond traditional marketing and advertising channels. Having an overarching, integrated PR plan that aligns closely with your overall strategy is essential for maximizing reach and connecting with audiences in meaningful ways. To make sure you cover all your bases and maximize success, be sure to focus on researching target audiences, setting clear objectives for each campaign, measuring results, fostering connections organically, and using data-driven insights to inform future decision-making when crafting your PR strategy.

Planning PR

Public relations strategy development

This requires an understanding of the target audience and their interests. To plan PR activities, it is important to start by identifying the goals that PR should help achieve for both short- and long-term success. Once those goals have been identified, PR plans can be developed with tactics to reach them. Tactics usually include media relations, influencer engagement, message creation, and crisis management. Each plan should also include tracking procedures for measuring the success of PR tactics so that adjustments can be made along the way to maximize results.

Public relations activity development

Once you’ve thought through your PR strategy, it’s time to start planning PR campaigns and activities. First and foremost, make sure that you have a clear goal in mind for each campaign. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness or driving sales, having this as an objective will help inform the rest of your PR efforts. From there, create a timeline with key dates and milestones for when tasks need to be completed by. Use this timeline as a guide for budgeting, crafting messaging, and keeping track of progress over time. Finally, don’t forget to select the right PR channels based on your target audience and goals — social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube may be ideal if reaching Millennial B2C audiences is part of your PR strategy. Look at LinkedIn for B2B if we’re getting into channels.

Objectives of public relations

brand, customer, intersect

Public relations can be used to achieve a number of different objectives, including:

  • Building brand awareness
  • Generating leads
  • Increasing customer loyalty
  • Creating positive perceptions around the organization
  • Improving relationships with stakeholders
  • Driving media attention and creating earned media opportunities

Public relations metrics – how to measure

measure, metrics, analytics, metric

With your objectives documented, it’s also important to develop a system of measurements. This is a way to track progress on your objectives over time. While these metrics can be a little more “grey” than the hard numbers of direct marketing, it can be done.

Public relations activities can be divided into two main categories: earned media and paid media.

  • Earned media is any type of exposure that you receive without having to pay for it. This can include things like news articles, blog posts, and social media mentions.
  • Paid media is any type of exposure that you pay for, such as advertising, sponsorships, and product placement.

Considerations with metrics

There are a number of different ways to measure the effectiveness of public relations activities. Here are some things to think about:

  • One way to measure earned media is by looking at the amount of exposure that you receive. This can be quantified by looking at things like the number of news articles written about you, the number of social media mentions, and the amount of web traffic that you receive.
  • Another way to measure earned media is by looking at the quality of the exposure that you receive. This can be quantified by looking at things like the reach of the publications that write about you, the influence of the people who mention you on social media, and the engagement that you receive from your audience.
  • Paid media can be measured in a number of ways, including by looking at the cost per impression (CPM), the cost per click (CPC), and the return on investment (ROI).
  • CPM is a measure of how much it costs to reach 1,000 people with your message. CPC is a measure of how much it costs to get someone to click on an ad or take another desired action. ROI is a measure of how much money you make for every dollar that you spend on paid media.

There are a number of other factors to consider when measuring the effectiveness of public relations activities, including timing, objectives, and target audience

No matter what PR goals you have in mind, PR should always be used to help strengthen your overall strategy and objectives.

How PR fits in your mix

marketing mix
Your Marketing Mix

Public relations is often seen as a separate entity from the rest of marketing activities, but PR should be used to further your objectives. PR can be used in combination with other elements in your mix to create an integrated approach. This will help you reach more people and drive results.

By using PR alongside other tactics such as SEO, advertising, email marketing, and social media marketing, to name a few, you can create a comprehensive strategy. This will help you reach more people and increase brand awareness. PR can also be used to help build relationships with stakeholders, such as influencers, journalists, customers, investors, partners, and other organizations.

The key is understanding how PR fits into your overall marketing mix and how PR activities can be leveraged to help you reach your goals. PR should not be seen as a standalone activity, but rather as a tool in your overall strategy.

Making the most of PR – using it effectively within your mix

Knowing how to maximize the output of your program mix and make the most out of PR is a valuable skill to have. PR has become an integral part of marketing strategies everywhere. It’s used to inform customers about products and services, manage reputations and communicating brand stories. Understanding how each element can benefit from PR will assist you in making your marketing mix more effective. This will give you maximum potential for success. The key is to identify where PR can maximize the benefits for your company. This will enable you to target each marketing tactic accordingly, allowing it to add greater weight to the overall marketing approach.

When and how to use public relations

Using PR within your mix is a great way to reach more people and increase exposure, but it’s important to understand when and how to use PR effectively. PR should be used strategically – consider the best timing for PR activity, the right messaging and tone of voice that will resonate with your target audience, as well as the platforms which will be most effective for PR outreach.

It should also be used as a tool to build relationships with stakeholders. Folks such as journalists and influencers, who have the power to spread your message further and reach more people. PR can be used in many ways – from press releases, campaigns and media interviews to PR stunts and events. It’s important to research and understand which PR activities will be most effective for your campaigns.

In my work, I have a person dedicated (about 85%) to public relations strategies and tactics. In addition to writing and distribution of news releases, they also maintain our media list, pitch article ideas to trade journals and prospect for speaking engagements at trade events. An integral part of our marketing team, this aspect also provides content for websites, direct (email) campaigns, and more.

A campaign example

marketing types, b2b marketing, campaign

Just as an example, say you have a line of new products you’re looking to launch. I see a truly B2B integrative marketing fusion approach consisting of the following program tools, elements and schedule.

  • Public launch (assuming your product is ready, tested and in production).
  • Develop measurable goals of the campaign.
  • Develop key messages and benefits. Include solutions (your product) to the challenges your audience faces.
  • Map out your campaign with dates. Which of these elements will you incorporate?
    • Advertising (online and possibly print).
    • Direct marketing (email and possibly print).
    • Content – Written – An article or whitepaper for your website or as a free download.
    • Content – Video – To augment your website information and other promotional efforts.
    • Events – Tradeshows where the timing aligns.
    • Events – Seminars – Educational, and lead generation.
    • Events – Webinars – Awareness, educational, and lead generation.
    • Promotion – Is this a special contest, event, introductory pricing, or a trade-in offer? What will help spark those interested and trigger them to moving down the sales cycle?
    • Public relations – News release, media pitches, press conference (if applicable), blog posts or another PR tactic.
    • Social media – Outline your social media channels and timing of posts.
    • Sales tools – Information that your sales and distribution teams need to help sell.
    • Website – Both written and video (if appropriate) content with features, benefits, technical specifications, sales tool downloads, manuals (quick start, user or installation) downloads, case studies, etc.
  • Develop content for each of the above tactics that support the key messages that you’ve outlined.
  • Develop visuals for each of the above tactics (photography, infographics, icons, etc.).
  • Design, program and format the above.
  • Internal training with key stakeholders such as sales, customer service, dealers, partners, etc.
  • Confirm that the product is ready, tested, and in production with an inventory building.

Campaign planning additional thoughts

integrative marketing fusion, IMF, marketing model

Also keep in mind the core elements of the fusion part of an integrative marketing fusion model. Those include the emotion or feeling your organization or product delivers, maximize the unique skills and perspectives of your marketing team and stakeholders. Look beyond the marketing department like engineering, product management, leadership, production, and customer service. Incorporate empathy in working with your team developing the tactics and delivering them to your audience. Encourage and embrace creativity and (calculated) risk-taking.

The above is an example of a B2B campaign I would run, but of course, would vary depending on the product, audience or situation. Make sure this appeals to not only current customers, but also new customers and prospects.


We’ve covered a lot of ground, but in conclusion, public relations can be an incredibly beneficial tool in any business’ overall marketing strategy. Especially when applied strategically and carefully within your marketing plan. When it comes to garnering more attention, building trust, creating a more cohesive narrative, and emphasizing points of difference between your brand and competitors’, public relations is hard to beat.

Now that we know what public relations is and why it’s important, as well as some tips for making the most of PR both online and off, we hope you feel more confident about successfully incorporating PR into your own marketing efforts. PR in your marketing mix is critical for any organization.

To learn more, take a look at the Public Relations Society of America and their professional development offerings.

I’d love to hear from you. What has worked for you in the past? Anything you’d like to share about how PR has made a difference in your business or brand? Let me know in the comments below!

Like what you just read? Pass it on!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A gear depicting the concept of working


Find all my tips and knowledge about marketing, branding, and strategy here.

A guitar


It’s all about balance. Sometimes, you need to relearn how to play.

A firefighter


It’s not all work and play. Giving back to the community is paramount.

Get in Touch

Get in Touch