There’s an obvious synergy between Inbound and PR. But what is the difference between the two - and how can Inbound and PR form a perfect partnership?
Firstly, let’s define the differences between PR and Inbound Marketing.
To determine whether and where there is a difference between PR and inbound, it helps to define each strategy. PR, or Public Relations, describes the way a company presents itself and communicates with the public and the media. PR aims to present a company in a positive light and as authoritative experts. Traditionally, PR tools would include press releases, newsletters, placement in press publications and sponsorship among other forms of communication. But, with the arrival of the digital age, traditional PR has acquired another important medium - the website.
Inbound marketing works to attract (rather than push) your best-fit personas to your website with helpful and educational content, delivered at each stage of the buyer’s journey, and works to nurture good-fit leads through to decision and purchase.
Inbound Marketing has its own set of tools; persona-driven content, email nurture, relevant social activity - which all help and nurture visitors through their purchase journey.
Inbound Marketing focuses on:
Digital PR, on the other hand, works at more of an awareness level; aiming to provide a good overall image and positively influence perspectives of a brand.
Digital public relations is measurable, immediate and produces easily sharable content. The realm of digital PR may be more specified than that of traditional, but it will help grow your brand online and make waves in a constantly evolving digital world. - Huffington Post
Therefore, PR and Inbound Marketing have related goals - to influence, attract and nurture prospective buyers.
Neither inbound marketing nor digital PR are mutually exclusive; they can (and do) complement each other to produce great results. Inbound marketing strategies can benefit greatly with PR activity in place to build awareness, authority and confidence with a larger audience. Equally, PR activity can benefit from having access to much higher quality, attractive content for placement, as prioritised by inbound marketing.
Combining both fields of expertise gives us Inbound PR, and refers to a new way of thinking about modern Public Relations, brought to the forefront by Iliyana Stareva at Hubspot’s INBOUND16 Conference.
So which components of each strategy should you combine in order to create the perfect Inbound PR mix? Here are two suggestions:
Both PR and Inbound Marketing work to help you/ your company to be found. Optimising content for search is commonly done for inbound content, but using suitable keywords in your PR content and press releases will help to boost your search presence.
To do this, research to identify the most frequently used keywords for your topic (the Google AdWords free keyword planner is a great tool). Then use the identified keywords in your title, in the first sentence and spread them a few more times throughout the entire text. This is an easy task that will help expand reach.
Press releases and name placement in well known publications are, of course, not your only tools to make your brand better known. PR materials can also be used to create new marketing content, such as infographics, e-books, podcasts, white papers, videos, etc. This works both ways - you can repurpose, recycle or republish current inbound marketing content where appropriate, for PR use and to extend content value.
Content that has already been produced by PR can be also be repurposed for new PR use, by updating statistics, changing titles, including an infographic or even rewriting from a different angle.
There is an obvious synergy between PR and Inbound Marketing and combining both could make a perfect partnership for your organisation; and as a result, boost awareness, traffic and your brand’s position as a thought leader.