September 30, 2019

Power up: Why your PR and media teams need to work together

By Rosie Thoni

Public relations and media teams can no longer exist in silos — the opportunities to improve our clients’ success through collaboration are too great. We have shared goals of getting the right message to the right audience at the right time, best achieved through integrated strategies that bring PR and media specialists closer together.

AdFarm has created a powerful integrated content hub that sees PR and media strategists working under one joint team in order to increase communication and collaboration, and ultimately deliver greater results to our clients in both disciplines. We’ve also rebranded our public relations team as PR & Content by rolling in the content creation element of PR, from social media to blogs to editorial-style native and sponsored content.

From research and strategy to execution and reporting, we detail why PR and media go together like steak and potatoes.

Following the research

Our media partners grant us access to extremely relevant research and information, including audience insights, channel performance and content preferences. The simple addition of looping PR teams into the sharing of this research can ensure that we’re crafting our editorial outreach and content submissions to resonate and perform best with target audiences. By sharing editorial calendars and plans, PR folks can help media teams ensure optimal timing of their messages as well.

Meeting of the strategy minds

Early on in the campaign planning process is arguably the most important stage for PR and media teams to be working together. Alignment on messaging and audiences leads to teams collaboratively determining the best media mix, including the right outlets and timing to reach the desired audiences. We’re lucky to work with a targeted group of publications in the agriculture industry. Since those are typically the same publications on the editorial and advertising side, being aligned on messaging and outreach can only help our messages get across and desired actions be taken.

Singing from the same song book

Or in this case, the same big, beautiful content matrix. We develop content matrices for our clients as a final step in planning to have one central document to house the detailed components of the right channel, right audience and right time. These detail each external message of the campaign, allowing us to ensure that we’re aligned on when we share messages to whom and through what channels.

Getting tactical

Advertising has evolved to so much more than just print ads or commercials featuring product beauty shots. Storytelling, thought leadership and branded content have proven impactful and memorable in every step of the customer journey, from brand awareness to loyalty. The rise of native and sponsored content poses perhaps the best example of the intersection of PR and advertising. We are producing artful video stories for digital content like pre-roll ads; writing editorial how-tos or explanatory pieces to be used as native content on media websites; sponsoring educational webinars for industry professionals; collaborating with publications for sponsored Q&A segments; and so much more.

Ethics on high alert

With these blurred lines between traditionally earned and paid media, it’s extremely important to ensure that ethics are upheld from agencies, our clients and our media partners. Advertising dollars should never be used to leverage earned media, and the journalistic integrity of our editorial contacts should not be compromised – we understand the sanctity involved because many of us have worked as journalists. Partnership is about creating the best possible outcome for all parties involved, which includes being honest and upfront with the end customer about how information came to be shared with them.

In the new world of PR and media, it is possible to achieve an ideal balance of delivering optimized content to our audiences through paid, earned and owned channels. All it takes is collaboration, shared goals, and bringing the right minds to the table.

Rosie Thoni is AdFarm’s U.S. PR and Content Lead, Canadian farm kid turned suburban Kansas dog mom, and resident AP Style nerd.