What do marketing teams and the C-suite think about PR?

The relationship between PR and marketing is often tricky. While PR can feel that the marketing teams and the C-suite does not understand the value and processes of PR, the other side feels that PR does not understand their business imperatives.

PRmoment India spoke to a range of senior executives and entrepreneurs, in order to find out what marketing expects from PR.

What does marketing teams and the C-suite think of PR?

Alok Kejriwal, founder of start-up community, ‘The Rodinhoods’, and CEO-Founder of Games2Win puts it bluntly: “All start-ups need PR. But the business of PR is confusing, time consuming and costly.”

Alok feels that start-ups must put off hiring a PR firm for the first two years of its existence and must first understand what makes a good story in their sector and the basics of PR.

Alok also says that he tells PR newbies that, “it takes PR 10 years to yield results. If you don’t have that stamina don’t run the PR marathon.”

Sameer Parwani, CEO, CouponDunia, feels that, ”proliferation of technology and the evolution of social media today has completely transformed the way people communicate, thus in this light the top deliverable of PR today becomes active representation of companies on online platforms.”

Sameer says that the C-suite also expects, “public relations professionals to act as communication experts in the case of a crisis situation. They should play a key role in mitigating damage and maintaining stakeholders’ confidence in the organisation.”

In what areas is PR not working for firms?

Sameer feels that due to the growing use of technology and mushrooming of digital platforms the lines between social media marketing and public relations have blurred. 

Sameer says that, “individuals have become accustomed to leveraging their networks to make decisions. The need of the hour is for PR practitioners to work along with social media by expanding their roles from being communication facilitators to strategic PR champions and influencers. However, a lot of PR professionals are struggling with this sudden shift of roles and are not delivering enough owing to their limited skillsets.”

According to Sandip G Tarkas, president (customer strategy), Future Group PR professionals are not delivering enough in the area of spreading awareness: “There are too many stories vying for attention these days resulting in the squeezing out of some important stories that may not be sold well.”

What percentage of the marketing budget should go to PR?

According to Sameer, “the communication requirements of an organisation dictates how much of the marketing budget can be allocated towards public relations. The percentage depends on the nature of the organisation and the industry it exists in.  Allocating about 1/6 or 1/5 of the marketing budget seems ideal. “

Sandip pegs the amount at, “around 2-10% depending on the situation and the story.”

Sandip adds that he would consider raising the PR budge, “when a story is more merchandisable to the media and has softer dimensions’ that are better addressed through editorial coverage.”

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