We pointed out in an earlier post why it is important for clients to be upfront with their PR teams about internal issues and product deficiencies. In that same vein, we want to discuss why it is important for Marketing to communicate with their public relations teams about marketing activities that they are planning to participate in as early as possible. Marketing and public relations already work closely together, yet sometimes those seemingly unimportant details just doesn’t get conveyed. We’ve worked with both high tech startups and large tech companies that have at times failed to mention to us their upcoming marketing plans or ongoing initiatives that we could have significantly leveraged on their behalf----had we known about it in advance.
For example, if a client’s CEO is participating in a panel along with a number of highly regarded industry experts, it is a good idea to inform the public relations team and not keep them in the dark until the day the panel is taking place. Another example might be having advance knowledge about a significant partner’s plans to do a major initiative in which the company can ride the cocktails of the announcement either by offering perspective or invaluable insight. Marketing needs to be highly attuned to all of the various activities planned and understand that they might also be solid opportunities that the public relations team could tap, so it’s important to at least run it by PR early on. No harm done with good planning. At worst, PR will tell you that there is not enough substantive “meat on the bone” so to speak. The art of being sensitive, opportunistic and agile to potential news opportunities and working closely with your public relations team can a) beat your competitor to the punch when media seek additional or insightful perspective and b) enable the company to exploit an unfolding opportunity before it happens and successfully wire itself into the subsequent news and blog posts that unfold.
Staying highly attuned to market-centric opportunities can payoff handsomely in building greater awareness for the spokesperson as a thought-leader or keeping the company top-of-mind with media and bloggers that cover certain beats, be it security, social networking, online paid search, etc. That’s why you want to have your PR fully aware of even the most mundane of upcoming corporate and marketing activities, because they are the most attuned to recognize strong news potential; if there’s nothing there-there, they will tell you that it’s too fluffy, but at least they can easily inform you early on and not after the opportunity has been largely missed. Certainly not all marketing activities are going to be newsworthy, but your public relations team should know about it in advance and will be able to counsel the company on whether it merits doing any proactive outbound activity or guerilla marketing to successfully leverage the opportunity.