How PR and Email Marketing Work Together

How PR and Email Marketing Work Together
29 July, 2023 • ... • 505 views
Natalie Voloshchuk
by Natalie Voloshchuk

Independently, PR and email marketing are powerful tools in a brand’s marketing arsenal. PR excels in storytelling and connecting with audiences through the media, while email marketing delivers more personalized messages to their inboxes.

But what if we told you there’s a way to supercharge your marketing efforts by embracing both?

In this article, you will learn how PR and email marketing can work together in different scenarios and help you drive sales and grow your brand, even in times of crisis.

Defining public relations and email marketing

PR and email marketing are both ways of communicating with your audience, but they use different channels and strategies.

PR uses third-party media outlets to spread the message and generate buzz for your brand. Email marketing employs your own email list to reach your audience directly and convert them into customers. By leveraging the strengths of both you can create the synergy that will boost your business results.

Before we dive into how PR and email marketing can reinforce each other, let’s first define what they are and what they do.

Functions of PR

Public relations (PR) is the practice of using media channels to promote your organization and cultivate a positive public perception. PR helps you build trust and credibility with your audience, as well as generate awareness and interest for your brand, products, or services.

PR professionals use various forms of communication, such as press releases, articles, whitepapers, reports, and public speaking engagements, to tell your story and showcase your value proposition.

Functions of email marketing

Email marketing is the practice of using email to deliver a variety of promotional content to a list of subscribers who’ve opted into receiving messages from your brand. Its main goal is to help you nurture and convert leads while increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The practice involves the creation and deployment of multiple marketing campaigns tailored to your audience’s needs, preferences, and behaviors. These can be newsletters, promotions, surveys, drip campaigns like welcome and onboarding emails, abandoned cart and post-purchase messages, and other lead nurturing emails.

Functions of PR versus email marketing

How PR and email marketing can reinforce each other

PR and email marketing share both similarities and differences, yet they complement each other.

Here is how they can create a powerful synergy for your business:

Shared content plan

A shared content plan helps you coordinate your PR and email marketing efforts and avoid duplication or inconsistency. For example, you can use a shared content plan to map out your topics, formats, keywords, distribution channels, and timelines and ensure that your PR and email marketing teams are on the same page.

It also helps optimize your content for each platform and channel. Repurpose what you have already created for different platforms and channels and extend your reach. Start by turning a whitepaper into a blog post, a podcast episode, an infographic, or a newsletter and share it with different audiences.

Cross-posting

Cross-posting the same or similar content on multiple social media platforms can save you time and resources and help reach a more diverse audience. However, cross-posting also requires some caution and customization. For example, it’s ok to cross-post a video on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter, but make sure to adjust the length, format, captions, and hashtags accordingly.

It’s best to avoid cross-posting the same content on every platform, as this may bore or annoy your followers who follow you on multiple platforms. Instead, add variety and value by including something unique — a question, a poll, or a call to action.

Brand awareness

PR can help you reach new audiences and generate buzz for your brand, while email marketing can help you nurture leads and convert them into customers.

Use PR to get featured in the media outlets, the blogs, and the podcasts that your target audience follows, and then employ email marketing to follow up and offer valuable content or incentives to join your email list.

Customer retention

PR can help you maintain a positive reputation and handle crises, while email marketing can help you increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Use PR to communicate with your audience during a crisis, and then employ email marketing to provide solutions and support to your customers.

You can also use email marketing to send personalized messages to your customers, such as thank-you notes and rewards, birthday wishes and discounts, or when you want to request feedback.

Content creation

PR can facilitate creating content like whitepapers, reports, and articles, while email marketing will get it to your subscribers and measure the impact. For example, you can use PR tools to do a survey, build a report, and then share it with your email list and drive your subscribers to your website or landing page.

This is exactly what AuthorityHacker did with their report on the use of AI in online marketing. They published the report in their blog and at the end of it, invited readers to take part in a discussion on Twitter. They’ve also released a video about it on YouTube, and sent an email to their subscribers to further promote the report.

Use cases: Combining email marketing and public relations

Let’s take a look at specific examples of how to use PR and email marketing in different scenarios.

Personalized communication

One of the benefits of email marketing is that it allows you to build a connection with your audience. You can use email marketing to segment your audience based on their demographics, interests, behaviors, or other parameters and send them personalized messages. Welcome emails to new subscribers, triggered emails, birthday wishes to loyal customers, rewards for frequent buyers, and requests for reviews from satisfied clients — to name a few.

From: Withings

Subject: 🎂 Healthy birthday, Smiles Davis!

An email from Withings wishes a Happy Birthday to the customer and offers $30 off their next purchase
Source: Really Good Emails

Personalized communication is not limited to email marketing. You can send thank-you notes to the journalists who covered your story, shout-outs to the influencers who promoted your brand, event and webinar invitations to the prospects who showed interest in your products or services.

By using PR and email marketing together, you will create a consistent and personalized communication strategy that builds trust and loyalty with your audience.

Sharing press releases and important news

Another way to use PR and email marketing together is to share press releases and important news with your audience.

Usually, brands publish press releases on their website and social media pages and send them to media outlets, brand ambassadors, and influencers, basically anyone who can help spread the word.

But it doesn’t mean you should reserve press releases only for external audiences. You can also use email marketing to share all the important information with your employees, customers, and partners. That way, you will keep them informed and engaged with your brand, while creating opportunities to generate excitement and feedback. Use these press release email examples for inspiration.

Use email marketing to share about:

  • Product launches. Announce the launch of a new product or service to both your existing customers and prospects, and offer them a discount or another incentive to try it out.
  • Awards. Celebrate awards that your brand receives, and thank your customers for their support and loyalty.
  • Partnerships. Introduce new partnerships and collaborations, and explain how they will benefit your customers.
  • Crises. Communicate with your customers during situations that affect your brand or industry. Whenever possible, provide solutions and support.

From: Framer

Subject: New from Framer: Team Templates for your whole organization

Framer announces the launch of Team Templates in an email
Source: Really Good Emails

Announcing events, product presentations, and demos

Another scenario where PR and email marketing can work together is when you want to announce your events. Events are a great way to demonstrate your brand’s personality and values while connecting with your audience offline or online. They can include webinars, workshops, conferences, trade shows, presentations, and more.

Use both PR and email marketing to promote your event or product demo and invite people to participate. Here is the checklist with all the steps involved:

□ Create a landing page for your event and include all the relevant information, such as the date, time, location or link, agenda, and speakers.

□ Send an email about it to your email list.

□ Create a press release that announces the event and its highlights.

□ Send the press release to media outlets.

□ Reach out to the influencers who can help promote the event.

□ Before the event, send reminder emails to everyone who signed up.

□ After the event, send a follow-up email with a special offer for the attendees.

From: The Victorian Atlanta

Subject: Workshop | Climbing Aroids シ

An email from The Victorian Atlanta announcing their offline workshop on climbing aroids
Source: Really Good Emails

Sharing brand stories

Brand stories are narratives that convey the essence of your brand — mission, vision, values, and culture. They help you connect with your audience and stand out from the competition.

These stories are not just something you tell. They are also something you show.

Let’s explore Djusie, a Finnish natural skincare brand. Their mission strongly focuses on supporting mental health and fostering better self-esteem. They take great care to display this commitment on their website clearly and prominently:

The top of the “Our Mission” page features a photo of an older woman with a buzz cut and big round glasses. The text under the photo reads: “You are a living example of natural beauty”
Source: Djusie
The statement “Djusie stands for mental health, better self-worth and holistic beauty” is featured twice on the “Our Mission” page. The first mention is part of a regularly formatted text introducing the brand’s values.
Source: Djusie
The second mention appears in larger letters and a lovely lavender color
Source: Djusie

Furthermore, Djusie promotes its mission through other PR and marketing channels, for example, when they have their products showcased on marketplaces or tested by beauty bloggers.

A page from Ruohonjuuri’s blog. Thumbnail of the article about Djusie mentions their pledge to donate a part of the proceeds to mental health and school bullying prevention work.
Source: Ruohonjuuri
Beauty blogger Laura Loukola highlights Djuisie’s values and commitment to donating to mental health charities in her review of their skincare products. The text comes right before a vibrant photo of Laura holding the product.
Source: laura loukola

Of course, Djusie’s pledge is not just PR and empty promises. They run yearly charity campaigns and use both social media and email to raise awareness and help local non-profits.

Below is a thank you email sent at the end of their first campaign in 2022, when they managed to raise 2,000 euros for Nuoli ry, a Finnish non-profit association that offers shelter to homeless young people struggling with addiction and mental health issues. The Djusie’s team reiterates their mission and addresses possible questions about how Nuoli ry will spend the raised money.

From: Djusie

Subject: Our first charity donation – you made it possible

A thank you email sent by the Djusie’s team at the end of their first donation campaign in 2022
Source: Really Good Emails

In 2023 the brand held another campaign to support the same non-profit. The Facebook post addresses the audience both in English and Finnish. By including those who might not speak English, Djusie extended the reach and showed that they care for the local community as much as for their international supporters.

A 2023 Facebook post where Djusie announces annual charity donation to Nuoli ry
Source: Facebook

Such efforts not only do something good for the world but also bring out a company’s core brand identity while increasing brand awareness and visibility.

While running branding campaigns is not a regular practice for most businesses, employing both PR and email marketing is essential in this scenario. Save our checklist for the time when you decide to get involved with charity activities or launch an email campaign to showcase your values and mission.

□ Create a video to tell your brand story in an engaging way.

□ Prepare a campaign for your email list, introduce the video, and invite your subscribers to watch it and comment.

□ Create a press release that highlights your brand story and mission.

□ Send the press release to media outlets.

□ Reach out to the influencers who can help share your brand story with their followers.

□ As a part of your email campaign, ask your subscribers to share their own stories related to your brand or cause.

□ Reply to the subscribers who shared their stories and thank them for their participation.

Promoting interesting places

Promoting interesting places is a common practice for travel or tourist companies, and it’s one of the cases when PR and email marketing teams can do a great job working together. That is because promoting places is challenging — you need to attract your audience’s attention and inspire them to visit the spots you recommend.

Here is the checklist to help you tackle the challenge:

□ Create a blog post that features the place and its attractions.

□ Send an email to your email list, introduce the blog post, and invite them to read it.

□ Create a press release about the launch of a new destination.

□ Send the press release to media outlets.

□ Reach out to the influencers who can promote traveling to this new destination.

□ Send an email to your email list with a special deal or another incentive to book a trip.

□ Follow up the customers who traveled and ask for their feedback.

Lonely Planet, a famous travel guidebook publisher, seems to have done great with this when in 2023, they published their yearly Best In Travel guide. A quick look at the Google Search results reveals that they have a blog post plus a few landing pages dedicated to the guide. Then, a number of reputable resources have publications featuring the guide — one can see the effectiveness of their PR in action.

Search results for 'Lonely Planet's 2023 Best in Travel List' on Google show four sources referencing the guide, including Lonely Planet's official website and mentions in media
Source: Google

And then, there was an email campaign featuring the contents of the guide with a few images as highlights.

From: Lonely Planet

Subject: 🔥 BEST. IN. TRAVEL (Yeah, It’s Here)

In an email, Lonely Planet announces the arrival of its Best in Travel guide, shares the contents and the story behind its creation
Source: Really Good Emails

Following the example of Lonely Planet and using PR and email marketing tools together, you can effectively promote various travel destinations — anything from countries, regions, and cities to resorts, hotels, and even farms with local food specialties like cheese or wine.

PR and email marketing strategy in times of crisis

Any situation that poses a threat or causes damage to your brand’s reputation, image, or operations can be referred to as a crisis. A crisis can be caused by various factors, such as natural disasters, accidents, scandals, or lawsuits, and negatively impact your business goals and relationships with the stakeholders. At the same time, it also presents an opportunity, and your business outcomes depend on how you handle it.

A well-defined and executed PR and email marketing strategy can help you mitigate the negative effects and take advantage of the opportunities. These are three common steps:

  1. Identify the crisis. First, you need to understand what caused the crisis, how it affects your brand and your audience, and what are the potential consequences and risks. Make sure you monitor audience feedback and media sentiment regarding the crisis.
  2. Communicate clearly and honestly. Acknowledge the situation and take responsibility for your actions. Express empathy and compassion for those affected by the crisis. Provide solutions and support to your customers and stakeholders. Use PR and email marketing channels to deliver your messages in time.
  3. Adapt your strategy as needed. Keep evaluating the effectiveness of your communication and actions and adjust your tone, content, and frequency of the messages accordingly.

By following these steps and employing PR and email marketing tools to manage a crisis, you will effectively protect your brand’s reputation and image.

Final thoughts

PR and email marketing are two practices essential for any business that wants to grow and succeed in today’s market.

  • Let PR and email marketing reinforce each other by creating a shared content plan, repurposing what you already have in store, and cross-posting it on different social media platforms. By streamlining content production, you will increase brand awareness and improve customer retention.
  • Explore different scenarios where PR and email marketing can be used together, such as personalized communication, sharing important news and brand stories, announcing events, launching new products, and promotional activities.
  • Use PR and email marketing tools to handle a crisis. Remember to communicate clearly and honestly, provide solutions and support and adapt your strategy as needed.
29 July, 2023
Article by
Natalie Voloshchuk
Natalie is a content writer and blog writer that specializes in SEO and on-page optimization. Her specialty is marketing and sustainability niches, with years of actual hands-on experience in the roles like digital marketer generalist, webmaster and Facebook advertiser. Outside and in the course of work, Natalie remains an animal lover and a human-nature coexistence enthusiast.
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