There’s not too many departments within an org chart that public relations hasn’t already touched. Methinks sales is the last frontier for public relations to influence, and it’s going to take some serious work.
My day-to-day with several clients is as a strategically aligned member of the marketing team where I blend public relations squarely into the marketing mix. The offering is much like content development, event strategy, creative brainstorming to influence lead generation and, in turn, the support of sales teams who bring in the bacon.
While logically explained, there’s no simple logic behind this mash up (PR and sales). In essence, public relations has swung so far from the sales team that we’re essentially non-existent to frontline sales. Here’s how:
- PR has no standing among sales.
- Sales depends on marketing.
- Marketing beats to its leadership drum.
- PR aligns communications strategy to business goals (which are sales goals, too).
In a perfect world, here’s what I envision a highly successful business model to look like:
- Public relations and marketing form a cohesive team with PR feeding program strategy, content, event strategy, social media, media relations, and sales collateral into the team.
- This marketing/PR team meets regularly with sales, and PR gets a chance to educate sales about its contribution to ROI, results.
- Public relations attends sales meetings and even conducts trainings on what PR needs from sales to do its job.
- Sales slowly begins to understand how PR works, and when marketing asks for customers to interview, sales will open InterAction CRM and allow PR to speak with customers for a story.
- Sales is equipped with a message map completed by public relations so everyone says the same thing to key audiences.
- Public relations is regarded as high value to the integrated team, and everyone wins.
Is this reality or un-reality to you?