The integration curve of in-house teams
Last week, PRmoment hosted a seminar that looked at the reality of integration within in-house PR teams with the lovely people at Hotwire PR.
Speakers included Hotwire’s John Brown, Neil Henderson from Which? and Claire Foster, PR manager at Direct Line Insurance.
Hotwire's John Brown believes that "the primary hurdle that in-house teams face when it comes to integrated communications is the structure of the integration process, and the communication of it within the business."
"Good integrated communications requires multiple internal stakeholders to be tuned into the process, not merely the PR team and the marketing team," he adds.
Direct Line's integration journey
Claire Foster discussed how within Direct Line group, PR now reports into the marketing function and that the role of the PR team within that marketing function PR is to drive content creation.
The media has changed and consumer consumption habits have changed.
"PR people are the original content creators within the business, we have been creating engaging content for decades" says Foster.
There has been a revolution over the past (circa) 10 years in the way we consumer information and content, therefore the type of content that brands create for their stakeholders must also change
Using appropriate channels
The end of sausage-factory media relations
Neil Henderson from Which? believed that for his organisation, integration was not a choice, but a necessity.
Previously, Which? took a volume-approach to media coverage which it meant it had huge amounts of exposure in a large number of media titles. The problem with this approach was that for the future, for the magazine to survive, it needed to attract new, younger audiences and this meant using a range of channels and taking an integrated approach to its communications
Henderson does not believe a different approach is needed for digital. These channels, including social, are just a different type of media and brands like Which? need to produce relevant and interesting content for these channels.
The team in integration
For Henderson teams are critical to integration: "Teams should be working together, you should be able to see the whites of your marketing colleagues’ eyes. You should be able to see their pain and their joy. “
From a media-relations perspective, Henderson advises PR people: “Dont be a service hatch. Don't be railroaded into doing communications for communications sake. Good communications and good PR is a two-way conversation."
Thank you to our event partner
If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our twice weekly event and subscriber alerts.
Currently, every new subscriber will receive three of our favourite reports about the public relations sector.