On this episode of Breakthrough Barriers with Damali we had communications expert Robin Insley. Robin has been doing public relations in the food media space for over two decades. She has worked with Food Network’s Food Wine and Food Festival, many chefs and has been a key component in bringing the Mediterranean diet to the public view.
Our first caller is a business owner who wanted a breakdown on the difference between marketing and public relations as she was confused if both were the same thing or not. Robin shared with us that although PR and marketing are in the same family and often intertwined, they are essentially different at their core. Marketing is the advertising side of things. It still interfaces between the consumer and the brand but it focuses on selling. You can get a more defined return on investment with marketing and track where your money is going. You pay for an ad or commercial and can see if it has directly led to more sales.
Public relations is the other side. It includes promoting, creating an image, brand building/ development and both the use of social media and traditional media to construct a narrative for the brand or product whose end channel is the target audience.
Say I have an apple company. My marketing team will go out and tell everyone these are Damali’s apples, everyone should try them. They are truly delicious and they are the best apples available. Your PR team will create a story for your apple. What specific region is it from, what strain it is, why it is unique, how it benefits anyone who eats it, who is Damali and why she is the perfect person to buy apples from. After the narrative has been created, they will determine where the best place to tell people about it would be, so it can reach the largest group of apple enthusiasts. Both go hand in hand and both are important depending on what kind of brand or product you are selling.
The second caller is the owner of a dessert company which sells a low cost product. He had questions regarding PR and what kind he should use to promote his business, if he should spend his money on social media over other forms of traditional media and what his direction should be.
The first thing to do is think of what your goal is. Is it for brand awareness? To get sales? Or to get awareness for brand or product to be bought? Be very clear as to what you want so they can cater to your needs.
Having a PR team backing you is essentially like having a partner in brand building, a relationship must be established. A sliding scale must be established to work together in order to tell the brand’s story appropriately.
PR companies usually use both traditional and social media. Both are necessary. Consider the timeline of when things will be done. PR work, in contrast with marketing, is more timely. Everything takes time and brand building will not happen overnight. It is a long term investment, but there will be a return on it.
A public relations team is a great investment and will allow you to focus on your forte and let the PR team do the rest.
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