Marriage counseling lessons for PR and marketers

For a Facebook page to be effective, PR and marketing have to learn to get along and build a productive relationship.

The debate continues: Who should run a company’s Facebook page? Do you leave it to your messaging connoisseurs in your public relations agency, or keep it within your in-house marketing program?

The answer? Both.

In order to have a polished, relevant, and successful program, the parties must collaborate, because they each bring something to the table. Much like a marriage, it is a special dynamic that cannot survive nor thrive without both.

PR teams excel at messaging. They are up to speed on industry conversations, who is talking about what, and why people care. They understand that a company should be inserted into those conversations and know who the drivers are—whether they are competitors, media, bloggers, analysts, or other key influencers.

Marketing is sitting on a gold mine. They are the first ones to see new content, whether that’s a new approved customer case study, image, video, or award. They handle website analytics that can detect traffic coming to their website and its source—and those metrics can improve content strategy (but only when shared).

How do you manage that relationship so it produces results? Here are a few marriage counseling lessons that can help PR partner with its marketing spouse and create a terrific Facebook page.

  • Open the door to communication. If you are a PR pro, find out who your marketing counterpart is and make sure you have direct access to him or her. Schedule a bi-weekly 15-minute call to run down what is in the queue for the next few weeks—i.e., what content you can expect or will need. Avoid email. The threads invariably get tangled, because social media usually gets pushed to the back burner.
  • Share your wants and needs. You will never get what you want if you don’t ask. Tell the marketing team what approved stock images you need for the next blog post or campaign initiative. If the Facebook banner is getting stale, request an updated one, don’t wait for your counterparts to provide one. It is your job to make recommendations.
  • Listen. Don’t forget to listen to their needs. If there is a new case study or technical webinar that they are trying to push, make sure that link is included in your weekly postings.
  • Work toward the same goals. Though PR and marketing are different, they can have similar goals. Find out what you are both trying to achieve. For instance, have the marketing team dive into their website analytics, and find how much traffic results from social media postings. If you have a happy marriage, the chances are you will be able to report an increase, which is a win/win for marketing and PR.

Without these key fundamentals in your program, though, you’re as good as divorced.

If you have another proven method for creating and sustaining a successful Facebook page, please share it in the comments section.

Gessenia Votta is an associate account representative at Lois Paul and Partners (@LPP_PR). She blogs for Beyond The Hype, where this post originally appeared.

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