Length: 4-minute read.

Quick Summary: PR and marketing are essential tools to help grow your business’s profile. Taking an integrated marketing approach lets you combine the two for an accelerated return on investment and the best results to drive success for your business

How PR and marketing can give your brand strategy a crucial boost

Organisations looking to expand their audience and increase their reach often turn to marketing or public relations (PR) efforts to achieve their goals. For businesses in the built environment, engineering, and industrial sectors, PR and marketing can be effective tools to help engage with new prospects or media partners and spread the word about their products and services. However, businesses often confuse whether marketing and PR are the same thing and, if not, what PR is and how it differs from marketing.

While you may already know that your business needs PR and marketing as part of its overarching B2B brand strategy, and you may have already dipped your toes in the water, you might not be seeing the results that you want. For the best return on investment (ROI) for your business, it’s important to understand the difference between these two disciplines, as well as when, where, how, and why to use each one, and how combining the two for an integrated approach can help you grow your business even more.

What is PR and how does it differ to marketing?

Write Away Communication. What is PR and how does it differ to marketing?

The simple answer to the question “are marketing and PR the same thing?” is no, they’re not. Marketing focuses more on promoting and selling products and services to customers. On the other hand, PR efforts are targeted more towards managing and maintaining the reputation and image of a business and its people. Additionally, the way PR and marketing function can vary across industries. For example, businesses in the built environment, engineering, and industrial sectors need to be able to navigate and communicate issues and challenges, which include regulations, compliance, and legislation that can be very complex.

PR activities will often focus on engaging with target media and influencers to promote a positive image of the company as well as its key people and essentially sell the business’s brand as a whole. This is often achieved through creating and distributing content to key industry and news publications, sharing the latest updates with interested journalists, or even sending products to influencers and reporters in exchange for reviews shared with their audiences. PR efforts will often be considered either earned, organic, or paid, depending on how opportunities come about.

On the other hand, marketing is more focused on promoting products and services, or even ideas, for the express purpose of driving sales. This is usually achieved by creating content highlighting specific products or services and their benefits and promoting them through paid campaigns across relevant websites or publications.

While PR and marketing are often seen as a function of each other, they have historically operated separately. However, they are increasingly becoming linked, with many businesses turning to communications agencies to support them with integrated marketing communications programs that are carefully aligned to support their brand strategy.

What does integrated marketing mean?

Put simply, integrated marketing is the process of aligning your promotional efforts to deliver consistent messaging across the diverse marketing channels your business uses. This includes media engagement and using social media as part of your overarching brand strategy. It ensures that your messaging and activities are closely aligned with each other and, ideally, with the overarching business objectives. Often, omnichannel marketing will also form a key part of the integrated marketing approach to help deliver consistency across the board.

In practice, using an integrated marketing approach ensures that anyone reading an article about your business can find the same consistent messaging in your marketing collateral if they start searching for your company, and vice versa. It also lets you sweat your assets to get the most out of your investment. For example, any content you create as part of your marketing program—such as eBooks, whitepapers, tip sheets, and more—can be repurposed and pitched to media by your PR agency. At the same time, topics from media interviews or thought leadership articles may also help inform future marketing content. This is most effective when your PR and marketing teams work closely together.

How to effectively bring PR and marketing together

One of the most efficient ways to achieve an effective integrated marketing approach is to work with a dedicated integrated marketing and copywriting agency. While most PR and marketing agencies are capable of working with each other to help drive your business forward, they can be hindered by a need to meet independent KPIs to ensure they can achieve success. Working with an integrated marketing communications agency ensures that your business will be supported by a team working closely together daily towards the same goals. This will ensure you have access to a dedicated team of PR and marketing professionals that works symbiotically to help you reach your business objectives and that can deliver consistent, complementary messaging regardless of whether it is promoted by the PR or marketing function.

While PR and marketing agencies often operate in a similar way, organisations in the built environment, engineering, and industrial sectors require specialist support; a generalist agency may not be the support your business needs to succeed.

It’s important to work with corporate communications specialists who have dedicated experience in your industry. This will guarantee you’re working with communications professionals who understand your business and its industry and can create suitable content and target relevant media and marketing opportunities that best fit your organisation.

Write Away Communication has more than 35 years of experience helping businesses in the built environment, engineering, and industrial sectors and is part of The Recognition Group, Australia’s leading group of PR and marketing specialists.


Learn how we can help your business bolster its brand strategy with integrated marketing. Contact the team today.