How PR and Marketing Teams Can Work Together Successfully

Mar 07, 2022

Chances are, you’ll work with a client’s marketing team at some point in your journey as PR agency owner. Maybe the client has a small marketing team of just a few people, or maybe you’ll work with a dozen or more of their employees, all with their own ideas and strategies. No matter what, collaboration and communication can certainly be a challenge when PR and marketing teams work together! 

Making sure everyone’s promotional efforts are aligned is absolutely crucial to executing amazing campaigns and launches. But how do you make sure everyone is on the same page when there are so many people working on the project? 

3 Ways PR and Marketing Teams Can Work Together Successfully 

There are three key strategies that you need to implement to make collaboration smooth. You need to work with your client’s marketing team to be successful. That’s why maintaining clear communication and building trust is the key to maximizing the relationship between PR and marketing. 

Host a Kick-Off Call with the Marketing Team 

This first step is so important! Be proactive and reach out to your client right at the start to set up a kick-off call with their marketing team. 

The kick-off call is for you to understand your client’s overall short- and long-term goals, as well as any promotional efforts they’re currently planning. These efforts might include sales, launches, or collaborations. 

You’ll also get insight into how your client is hoping to promote their next big event. Think about how you can amplify what they’re working on and how you can leverage their assets to support your efforts. PR and marketing go hand-in-hand, and this is your chance to really dive into their strategy and build your own around it. 

It’s important to remember that you may have differing expectations for the partnership. Now is the perfect time to get aligned and clear up any misconceptions. Make sure their expectations are reasonable—let them know PR takes time! Be straightforward on what they can expect from you and when (plus what YOU expect from them, too). 

Create a Shared Calendar

A shared calendar between PR and marketing teams is super powerful. It not helps everyone stay on schedule, allows you to plan far in advance, and ensures you have all the assets you need on time. 

Your shared calendar should show what’s going on out social media, timelines for launches, email marketing plans, and more. Everyone should update the calendar immediately if any dates change so no one misses big shifts in the schedule. Be sure to update your key PR dates accordingly after any date changes, too!

Remember, the core of the promotional strategy starts with the marketing team’s plan, and then you will build your PR efforts around that. The marketing team isn’t working on your timeline or the media’s timeline; they’re working on the client’s launch timeline. When you build out your efforts around their plan, you’ll leverage success and maximize results. 

As you start thinking about creative pitches (which is the whole focus of The Pitch Lab!) you’ll want to stay totally focused on what your clients’ goals are. That’s where the marketing team is your secret weapon…they’re often in the loop first about promotions and launches. 

Be transparent with your needs and don’t be afraid to suggest to the client that a launch be pushed back a few weeks to better account for your PR strategy. Share your insights with the client and use your PR expertise to make sure you have the runway you need to get results.

Related: How to Support Your Clients’ Holiday Marketing Initiatives with PR

Have a Standing Monthly Call

Host monthly calls where you can recap any developments from your side (especially any wins!) and loop in the marketing team on your next steps. They can also ask questions about your strategy and you can reassure them regarding any concerns. This is the time to stay updated about upcoming launches and campaigns, as well.

A quick check-in call is all you need. You can cover a lot in just 20 minutes! Come prepared with line items of what you want to talk about, or send out an agenda prior to the call to make sure everyone stays on track.

Closer to a launch period, switch to weekly or bi-weekly meetings. This way, everyone will be fully aligned. You’ll ensure that your media outreach coincides with what the marketing team is doing and their objectives in the lead up to the launch. 

More frequent calls will also help you stay in the loop with last-minute changes or delays to the launch. It’s all about visibility and clarity here! 

Who Is Responsible for What When it Comes to PR and Marketing? 

With so many people working on a single project, it can get overwhelming to figure out who is responsible for what. There are a lot of moving parts to a campaign! 

Remember, everyone is working towards the same goal. The most important thing is to come to an agreement on what the PR and marketing teams will each contribute to the project prior to launch.

What the Client’s Marketing Team Should Handle 

At the most basic level, the client’s marketing team has to come up with all of the things that you’re going to leverage in your promotional efforts. This includes brand positioning, taglines, the ideal customer persona, or copy, among many other things. 

The marketing team should also be helping to deliver these assets to you. Your PR team should not be left searching for an asset that you need. 

When a company doesn’t have all of the resources that your PR agency needs, it can make your job really difficult. The support of your client’s marketing team is absolutely crucial! 

To work well together, be sure to utilize those meetings and a shared calendar. Consider creating a shared Google Drive or Dropbox folder to make everything more convenient and have all assets in one place. 

What Your PR Agency Should Handle

A huge part of being successful when collaborating? Communication! 

In order to get the assets you need from the marketing team on time, you’ll need to clearly communicate your plans and your timeline. 

Be transparent with the client’s marketing team regarding what you’re currently working on and what angles you’re pitching to the media. You can really use their extensive knowledge of the brand and their products to your advantage here! They could suggest a different product for a pitch angle you’re brainstorming, or enhance your pitch by giving you information you didn’t have before. 

In addition to adding key PR dates to your shared calendar, you should also clearly state those dates when communicating with the marketing team. These key PR dates will be for things like press releases or upcoming features. When the marketing team has all of your key dates, they can ensure there is marketing support to make the most of any traffic or media attention that comes their way! 

Working with a client’s marketing team can sometimes be tough, but by using these key strategies, you can make communication and collaboration between PR and marketing teams a breeze.