Never go it alone: Why marketing needs a PR budget

Every year, there comes a time of reconciliation for a company’s division heads, when product officers, marketers, sales reps and every other department are vying for the same pool of resources that will be allocated to best achieving the business’s objectives for the coming fiscal year. For the CMO, that means making perpetually hard choices around ad spends across channels, paid relationships with market research firms, internal initiatives, traditional marketing campaigns, travel and trade shows, awards submissions and more.

Allocating those dollars to ensure they have maximum impact on a business can be a long and arduous affair, full of a tug-of-war mentality that can leave even the most fortitudinous of CMOs clamoring for a quick resolution, a cold drink or both.

One facet of your marketing budget that you should not overlook or siphon resources from is your public relations budget. Regardless of whether you handle PR in-house or outsource to an agency, it’s an integral part of a successful marketing plan, no matter the business’s size, market, product offering, model or life stage.

Budgets can already get incredibly ugly, with repercussions that last long after they’ve been solidified. Unforeseen needs can pop up weeks or months down the line, straining both your remaining financial resources and the potentially limited manpower at your disposal. It can be at times like these that the DIY mentality simply won’t get you far enough, and when a PR partner can demonstrate its true value.

Time and time again, we see marketers make the mistake of thinking they—or their team—can accomplish the tasks that would otherwise be reserved for their PR partner: media and analyst relations, thought leadership, content development, executive positioning, awards and speaker submissions. It takes an incredible amount of time, energy and resources to execute on each.

Let me be clear: It’s not because they’re not capable. There just simply isn’t enough time in the day or week to accomplish the tasks demanded of both marketing and public relations. But a fully integrated PR partner can act as an extension of a marketing team, providing a different approach and mentality to internal and external communications.

For instance, where a marketer might see a product sheet for sales and lead-gen, a PR professional sees nuggets of pitch material, blog ideas and thought leadership trends. Neither is wrong, but it’s crucial that both recognize the other’s uses, strengths and weaknesses.

Even as public relations and marketing become increasingly aligned, marketers and PR professionals see the future slightly differently, creating a diversity of perspectives and insights that scaling companies can use to their advantage. According to the Holmes Report, PR pros envision digital storytelling as the most important trend for the future, whereas marketers place more of a premium on social listening.

In a perfect world, marketing and PR feed off each other, each providing new and engaging content ideas that can be spread across the entire channel spectrum—website lead-gen, social media, earned media placement, sales materials, etc.—to drive customer acquisition, identify new target audiences, build brand equity, deliver creative insights and accomplish business objectives.

Want to learn how Red Fan can embed with your marketing team for maximum results? Read our Q2 Holdings case study and shoot us a note at

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