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Marketing Imperatives: Center Everything Around Your PR Strategy

I have a longstanding working relationship with a CEO who recently changed jobs. Coming into his new company, he told me that his mantra was this: He intended to center every marketing initiative around PR strategy. In virtually every industry, I’m seeing many wise marketing industry leaders endorsing this idea. Another prominent example from the past several years comes from Jason Harris of San Francisco- and NYC-based Mekanism, where in an interview with HubSpot.com, he described his agency’s framework for creating shareable content.

“Our approach is to always think about the PR headline. Why will the idea, content, innovation, etc., travel? Why will people care, and why will they want to talk about it and share it? If there is no PR headline, the idea won’t be shareable. That is our goal on every project.”

The video I’m embedding with this article perfectly demonstrates the increasing focus on PR, presenting the 47-minute “Content & Storytelling: Is the PR Landscape Shifting?” session from the 2014 CDO Summit in NYC. Soon after the event, the CDO Club posted the video with an article entitled “The Top 10 Ways for Chief Digital Officers to Dominate PR,” sharing a set of fascinating, bona fide, highly important insights.

Here’s a more recent perspective on this idea. Check out Adweek’s “See All 23 Grand Prix Winners From the 2017 Cannes Lions Festival” article from Tim Nudd, where you will see scores of high-profile marketing projects that all have excellent answers to the questions posed above by Jason Harris. The example of Fearless Girl winning the PR Grand Prix and four Grand Prix awards in total speaks volumes about PR strategy’s leading role in marketing. Does a winning PR strategy translate directly into business success? For insight there, reference State Street Takes On Wall Street’s Gender Gap by Annalyn Kurtz for Fortune. That story quotes former Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch executive Sallie Krawcheck as saying, “A publicity stunt is good. Having it ignite a conversation about women and money and having us continue it is even better.”

For further reading on this subject, a new iMedia Connection article “The new age of public relations” by Stephanie Shkolnik does a very nice job of defining the traditional scope of what PR covers – and describing how to apply it moving forward. I encourage you to keep your eyes peeled for new educational opportunities (like the Conferences, Workshops and Webinars continuously being offered by PRSA) to see how an emphasis on PR strategy can impact your business endeavors. Feedback is always welcome!

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Featured Video: Content & Storytelling: Is the PR Landscape Shifting? From the Chief Digital Officer Summit 2014.

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