Public relations and email marketing may not seem inherently connected.
At least, not initially—because public relations and email marketing deal with two different areas of your business strategy.
But they both affect how your brand is perceived. And remember, public relations directly relates to building brand awareness. Let’s break it down:
Public relations = Brand awareness
Email marketing = Marketing = Brand awareness
This means public relations and email marketing not only coexist, but, when done right, can help to reinforce one another.
Public relations and email marketing: defining each
Before you can start diving into the many ways that public relations and email marketing coexist, it’s essential to know what makes each unique.
Defining public relations
When people think of public relations, they often think of press releases, news teams, and journalists. While that’s not wrong, that’s not all there is to public relations.
According to the Public Relations Society of America, Inc., public relations is defined as the strategic communication process. This process builds mutually beneficial relationships between a brand and the public.
By public, we mean the brand’s target audience. While public relations does involve sharing information with the media through the use of press releases, PR also uses other mediums to communicate with audiences.
Often, this includes the strategic building of relationships with industry experts and industry influencers.
Typical forms of communication used in public relations include:
- Press releases
- Public speaking engagements
Defining email marketing
Email marketing utilizes email to deliver a variety of marketing messages to a list of email subscribers who’ve opted into receiving messages from the brand.
The goal of this practice is to send the right content, to the right audience members, all at the right time to build and spread brand awareness and customer relationships.
This marketing tactic involves the creation of multiple email marketing campaigns that are deployed across a predetermined period of time. Each campaign serves a specific purpose: to drive action.
These actions can vary and will be determined by the type of campaign you’re running and what CTA you’re utilizing. Common email marketing campaigns include:
- Promotional campaigns
- Seasonal campaigns
- Welcome email series
- Post-purchase drip campaigns
- “Thank you” campaigns
- Survey/feedback campaigns
- Milestone messages
- Lead nurturing campaigns
Public relations and email marketing: how they coexist and reinforce each other
After reviewing what makes up public relations and email marketing in their individual respects, we can see where the two strategies start to overlap.
The first area of overlap is the fact that both deal with communicating with the public. While it may seem as if public relations focus on the media, it’s worth pointing out that your target audience members also rely on the media for information.
So, no matter which way you spin it, public relations and email marketing are both ways of communicating with your audience members.
The next area of overlap is the fact that public relations and email marketing both focus on delivering relevant information to the public in a timely manner.
While public relations used to focus heavily on printed press releases, virtually everything has gone digital. So now, while there are still traditional press releases, they’re made available online and are often shared with the public through email.
If there’s something worth sharing, chances are your favorite brand’s going to share it through email. From product releases to brand news, if you’ve taken the time to opt into their emailing list, you’re going to hear about it.
A shared editorial calendar could benefit your public relations and email marketing team.
Public relations and email marketing work best together when they’re sharing the right content. Even better, much of the content that’s shared via email marketing can be used in public relations correspondents as well.
That’s why sharing ideas between one another is an absolute must, and having a shared editorial calendar is a great way to ensure that both teams have access to the same idea boards.
Below is an example of a shared editorial calendar that’s used by the brand Buffer. Utilizing a shared editorial calendar, like this Trello board, is an easy way to put down all your content ideas in one place.
From there, different departments can share what they’re creating, where they’re sharing, and when.
Once your content team has created content, your email marketing team can take it and share it accordingly, as can your public relations team.
Cross-posting can help you generate both news and new content.
Once the content is created and is made available on your editorial calendar, your public relations and email marketing teams can start pulling the content that’s most relevant to their campaigns and current goals.
Although each department can send out content independently of one another, when they work together, the benefits can be enormous.
For example, when a brand launches a new product, they can take the time to announce it on their blog. That’s where the primary content is created.
From there, the key points of the blog are taken and shared in an email to the brand’s subscribers, so that they’re made aware of the big updates.
Finally, the brand can take things a step further by creating a press release that’s then sent out to various media sites, helping to create even more buzz around the launch.
Remember, the right piece of content can help you generate both news stories worth sharing, while the right news story may help you generate new content leads.
3 examples of public relations and email marketing working side by side
Now that you’ve had a moment to see how public relations and email marketing can coexist, it’s time you look at a few examples of public relations and email marketing working side by side.
Event announcements are an excellent way to combine your public relations and email marketing efforts. Public relations specialists focus heavily on sharing event news. If you’re looking to generate signups for your event, email is the perfect way to do so.
In this example from Framer, they’re spreading awareness of their latest marketing event to the public, but taking the time to share it with their email subscribers through a special event invitation.
Source: Really Good Emails
Instead of just announcing the event, they go a step further and tell their email subscribers how they can reserve their spot and get ahead of the crowds.
Thanks to the handy CTA included right in the email message, readers simply have to click the button, and they’ll be taken to a website landing page to finalize their reservation.
While email marketing focuses heavily on making consumers aware of certain content, public relations focuses heavily on building relations with the audience.
In this example from Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, you get to see public relations shine through, while utilizing email marketing as their platform for sharing their information.
Source: Really Good Emails
In this case, the content of the email focuses heavily on bringing awareness to the local community. From event dates to sharing the community’s blog, this email is a prime example of public relations and email marketing working hand in hand.
Finally, another excellent example of public relations and email marketing working together is through a product launch. Sure, a brand will write a press release to announce a new product or service.
However, they’re going to want to share that information with their current clientele just as much as they would the general public. An email announcement is an excellent way to do just that.
Source: Really Good Emails
Public relations and email marketing are both vital pieces of your business strategy. While they can do wonders on their own, they should be utilized together to help you not only reach your audience more easily, but help to build more in-depth relationships and further your brand awareness.
A few ways you can combine public relations and email marketing is through the use of these email campaign ideas:
- Product launches
- Event announcements
- Community relations
If public relations and email marketing go so well together, you may wonder what other areas of your business strategy reinforce each other. We have a suggestion for you: content marketing and email marketing efforts. In this guide, we walk you through each, as well as how they work so well together.