Marketing, and Public Relations have become a buzzword in today’s business world. However, with the advent of new technologies, and the ever-changing dynamics of business, these two fields have become more complex.
Still, since today’s business’s strategies are increasingly integrating communication, customer experience, and revenue generation, this implies that Marketing, and Public Relations must work side-by-side.
That said, let us talk about Marketing, and Public Relations. We will also be discussing about how both these fields co-exist, and some good Public Relations examples, and campaigns. Let’s dive in!
Introduction to Public Relations
First, let’s start with defining what Public Relations, and Marketing are.
Public Relations, commonly abbreviated as PR, is a communication strategy that aims at building, strengthening, and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships while also maintaining a favorable public reputation, and image by a business, organization, or even a person.
Marketing, on the other hand, is a business strategy that includes all the activities a company undertakes to promote its brand, goods, or services, and also to promote sales, and increase revenue.
Various types of marketing include email marketing, content marketing, affiliate marketing, social media marketing, etc.
So, what’s the difference between Public Relations, and Marketing? And how do they work together? Let’s find out.
Public Relations is focused on maintaining a positive image or reputation, and relationships with other entities, while marketing is the set of all those activities that are focused on promoting, and selling a specific product or service.
Public Relations in Marketing
As discussed earlier, Marketing generally consists of elements, and strategies like promotion, advertising, and marketing research to increase sales, and revenue. Public Relations is aimed at reputation, and brand image management through earned media coverage or other communication strategies.
Now, even though these two fields are different, the truth is that they co-exist, and are intertwined. They co-exist in the sense that you cannot manage Public Relations without using a few marketing tactics, and vice versa. Both these fields complement each other because of certain closely-knit aspects that occur here.
The focus of marketing is on building your brand. PR, on the other hand, is about building a reputation.
So with PR, you are driven by reputation, and your reputation as an organization is very much your reality. You see, your reality is what others say about you. Whereas, when you look at marketing, it is what you say about yourselves.
And, your brand is very much the image of your organization. This is where you start to see an interrelationship, because an organization spends time both marketing, and providing clear, consistent communications, and messages.
And, Marketing, and PR being transparent in their operations, they can start to help each other, because the house can actually open up its door and welcome the brand in, and the reputation of the organization can help support, and protect the organization’s brand.
Thus, both these fields are reliant on each other for the success of an organization. Also, you can use your marketing assets to gain media coverage, and this can help you in strengthening your PR.
Moreover, many professionals are now bridging the gap between these two fields, resulting in the formation of a novel field called “integrated communications”.
This new collaboration combines the best of both the fields with an aim of improving brand reputation, image, and relationships, while also increasing sales, and generating more revenue.
Even the main focus of both these fields is related. If you aim at the promotion, and selling of your products, and services, you cannot achieve it if people don’t view your brand as credible, reliable, and reputable. Thus, for marketing, a little PR is necessary too.
And, similarly, if your PR tactics are poor, your company or organization won’t be viewed favorably by the public, making it necessary for you to combine good marketing strategies with your PR.
If the professionals working with the Marketing, and the PR departments work closely, they can not only help each other but also improve the performance of the overall organization. If you integrate your marketing, and PR strategies, you can develop effective campaigns using both of these.
Without any doubt, PR is an important part of any marketing strategy. It is always beneficial to integrate PR in marketing, and the overall brand strategy.
Some organizations have amazing products, and services, but not always an amazing PR. Sometimes they make PR mistakes, and blunders that can negatively harm them, and even destroy careers at worst.
Don’t forget to check out our list of the top PR lessons to learn from history where companies made terrible mistakes in their advertising campaigns, or when a CEO said something controversial, and much more.
Best Public Relations Examples – PR campaigns!
Throughout the rich history of PR, there have been many successful, and well-executed Public Relations campaigns, and have set amazing Public Relations examples.
For example, the body shop, Paul Newman’s Salad Dressing, and many other organizations have gained success, and positioned themselves in stiff competition with the help of effective PR strategies.
Even the tech giants like Microsoft, and Intel have made use of Public Relations campaigns for their success. That being said, here are our picks of the best Public Relations campaigns / Public Relations examples.
THE 2014 ALS #IceBucketChallenge
ALS Association is an American nonprofit organization that works in the field of ALS research, and also aims at providing care services to people affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
#IceBucketChallenge by ALS is one of the best Public Relations campaigns (Public Relations Examples) that has had a huge impact on social networking platforms. Before this campaign, not many people knew about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is a neurodegenerative disease, and commonly abbreviated as ALS.
The campaign urged people to pour ice buckets over their heads, either by another person or self-administered, and post it on their social media accounts. The idea behind this was to raise funds, and awareness for the disease, as well as the organization.
The campaign became an immensely successful viral sensation with millions of people around the world participating, and posting videos on their social media accounts.
Even many high-profile celebrities like Oprah, and Lady Gaga did the ice bucket challenge, making it one of the most successful PR campaigns.
The viral campaign also involved many other high-profile names, like Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
The campaign was able to generate great awareness about the disease, and its organization, with more than 2 million videos, and more than $115 million in donations.
Always #LikeAGirl by Procter & Gamble (2012-present)
#LikeAGirl by P&G is another great example of a Public Relations campaign. The campaign made use of the phrase “Like a Girl” which is sometimes used as an insult, and turned it into a confidence movement. The campaign became viral on social media with more than 130,000 mentions.
It also involved a video filmed by Lauren Greenfield that talked about women empowerment, and how different people interpreted the phrase “like a girl”.
With more than 76 million views on YouTube, the campaign was successful in not only in building a great reputation for the brand but also in empowering girls around the world.
The campaign was even acknowledged, and awarded by the United Nations. In the year 2015, it was named the campaign of the year by PRWeek. Many professionals have estimated that this campaign helped P&G to increase their sales by double-digit percentages. However, the exact sales figures were never reported.
#InThisTogetherOhio by Ohio Department of Health
The COVID-19 pandemic changed how people imagine their daily lives. And, this pandemic also saw a huge rise in the spread of misinformation, and fake news.
Hoaxes, and lies about the treatment, prevention of the disease, and even the places that were affected by the virus, began to spread around the world, especially through social media.
This made many organizations join hands with the United Nations to fight against this rise of fake news, and misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic.
One such organization is the Ohio Department of Health. Their campaign #InThisTogetherOhio was aimed at informing the public about the Covid-19 virus, and how it spread, while also focusing on providing people with legitimate news, and facts about the same.
Their educational campaign featured various types of videos with varying topics related to the virus. However, the message was the same, simple, and clear. The campaign was a huge success, with their main featured video, garnering more than a million views on YouTube.
The campaign not only helped them to educate people about the virus but also helped the Ohio Department of Health to appear as a credible, and reliable organization, and improved their public image.
First launched in the year 2011, the Share a Coke campaign by Coca-Cola is another amazing example of a Public Relations campaign. The campaign combined the elements of creative, and effective marketing, personalization, and customer experience.
The campaign involved a clever branding change where they swapped their logo with some of the most popular names of people. This was interesting, and new to the people, as people were urged to find a Coke bottle with their name, or of someone that they knew.
People were also encouraged to then share their stories, and experiences on social media with the hashtag #ShareaCoke. This not only helped them to boost their sales, but the use of user-generated content also helped in engaging the audience, while also creating a fun, youthful, and friendly image for the brand.
In 2016, a new, and innovative variant of this campaign called ‘Share a Coke, and a Song’ campaign, was introduced in the United States. The brand now started printing popular song lyrics on their Coke bottles.
This variant became immensely popular too, with even popular celebrities like Selena Gomez posting a photo of the campaign on Instagram. The campaign also broke the record for the most-liked photo on Instagram at that time with Selena Gomez.
The campaign also featured a lot of social media activity, and advertisements, and this helped the brand to increase its Facebook community, which grew by 3.5%.
Brave – Spoiling Netflix shows
To encourage people to stay at home amid the COVID-19 lockdown, Brave launched a fun, and interesting campaign to generate awareness.
This stay-at-home campaign was the brainchild of Seine Kongruangkit, and Matithorn Prachuabmoh Chaimoungkalo, who is also known as Brave. Both of them were ‘Hamburg Germany Miami Ad School’ students, and the Public Relations campaign was created in just three days.
The idea was to urge people to stay at home by spoiling their favorite Netflix movies or shows with a series of billboards in the places where they gathered. They didn’t do it though, as the campaign was virtual and no actual billboards were placed anywhere containing spoilers.
The video of the campaign read, “The best way to stop the spread of Covid-19 is to #stayhome, but some people still think it’s okay to go out, and chill, spoiling it for us all. So we took an extreme measure: we spoil their favorite Netflix shows.”
However, people thought this campaign was run by Netflix itself. On the contrary, Netflix had nothing to do with it. Thus, they distanced themselves from the campaign, however they didn’t bash Seine Kongruangkit, and Matithorn for running the campaign.
This is because it was a win-win situation for Netflix, as the campaign was not only spreading awareness, and urging people to stay at home but was also reminding people to watch Netflix.
#GettyMuseumChallenge by Getty Museum
Getty Museum is a Los Angeles-based art museum. In an attempt to urge people to stay at home, Getty Museum launched a creative campaign by offering them something that will help them spend time, while doing something fun, all this while being confined to the four walls of their homes.
#GettyMuseumChallenge was a global Public Relations project. It urged people to use the daily items that they can find in their households to recreate some famous artworks. Sounds fun, right?
And guess what? It worked. Many people around the world participated, and joined in, and created some very amazing artworks from household items. All this was posted online. This not only engaged the audience in a fun, and innovative way but also gave the museum great press.
Also, it generated awareness for the museum, as many people who earlier didn’t know anything about the museum, learned about it, when they participated.
Barbie – 126th Career Choice Campaign by Mattel
Ever since her introduction, Barbie has been a very popular toy, and can be found in every other household, and has a very strong brand presence, and power.
In 2010, American PR agency Ketchum West, and the creators of Barbie – Mattel decided to launch a powerful Public Relations campaign in which they let the public decide what barbie’s 126th career would be.
Over a million people worldwide participated in the campaign, and voted for Barbie to pursue a variety of different careers. This shined a light on women’s empowerment as it laid focus on a simple yet important idea, that a girl can be whatever she wants to be.
And, there are a lot of careers that they can choose from, thus breaking the existing stereotypes around careers for women.
The campaign was broadcasted worldwide on a variety of platforms. The success of this campaign can be judged by the fact that it helped Mattel to generate a 144% sales increase for their “I Can Be” Barbie doll line.
“Thank You For Not Riding With Us” By Uber
Another brand that leveraged the COVID-19 pandemic, and spread awareness about it through their Public Relations effort is Uber. Uber, being a cab booking service, has always urged people to ride with them.
This is obvious as most of the brands focus their marketing, and Public Relations efforts to generate awareness, and increase their sales, and revenue or push their products, and services.
However, the “Thank You For Not Riding With Us” campaign showed us a different side of Uber, where they thanked people for not riding with them. This was to support the idea of “stay at home” behavior.
The campaign also featured an advert that featured clips of people greeting each other through a window, friends talking, and sharing a glass of wine on Zoom, and people adapting to this new normal.
Thus, by touching on important human elements such as togetherness, and solidarity, and promoting the idea of staying at home, Uber came out in front of people as not profit-greedy, and money-minded. This helped them give their brand image a human tone.
They weren’t advertising themselves, but this campaign helped them to highlight Uber in a positive, heartwarming, and supportive way. Thus, you can say that it was a great Public Relations campaign, and definitely a great reputation-building effort. Among the best Public Relations examples.
#RideYourIndependence by Bajaj Avenger
Bajaj Avenger is an Indian cruiser-style motorcycle designed, and manufactured by Bajaj Auto. Bajaj launched a creative Public Relations campaign called #RideYourIndependence on Indian Independence Day in 2017.
The campaign kickstarted with the release of a 1.44-minute video with a solid, and strong message. The campaign showed women riding the Bajaj Avenger (at night), and aimed at challenging the stereotype that women can’t drive motorcycles.
But the highlight was the idea that women are riding their motorcycles at night. Meaning, that women should be able to live, and do whatever they want to do, without any fear.
The video concluded with a quote by Mahatma Gandhi that said “The day women can walk freely on the roads at night, the day we can say that India has achieved its independence.”
The campaign was a hit. With more than 10 million views on Youtube, and more than 5 million views on Facebook, the campaign reached a large set of audience, and highlighted the brand as being sensitive to issues related to women, while also capturing love from the fanbase.
#CrossTheLine by Star India Pvt. Ltd.
#CrossTheLine by Star India Pvt. Ltd was another women-centric Public Relations campaign that blended effective PR strategies with a social cause. The campaign aimed at increasing the viewership of women’s Kabaddi. And, to achieve this, the #CrossTheLine campaign was created, and launched by Star Sports in 2016.
The campaign featured the amazingly inspiring stories of girls from small towns, living away from the razzmatazz of the concrete jungles of the cities.
The campaign laid focus on the idea that women from such small places, and with little resources “crossed the line”, and now have achieved national glory. The campaign made use of a variety of elements, and media like social media, videos, print media, etc.
The #CrossTheLine also focused on the fact that Kabaddi is a male-dominated sport, and how much women have struggled to be in a sport as male-centric as Kabaddi. The campaign was an instant hit, as it reached more than 125 million citizens, and more than 218.2 million views within a month of its release.
This campaign not only aimed at generating awareness about women’s Kabaddi but also tried to bring a shift in the perception of the sport.
Conclusion on Best Public Relations Examples
This brings us to the end of this article. In this article, we discussed what Public Relations, and Marketing are. We also discussed about how these two fields are different, but also complement each other, and co-exist.
We then shifted focus to how Public Relations can be integrated into the field of marketing, and then discussed some brilliant PR campaigns, and Public Relations examples from the last few years.
There are a couple of points that you can learn from all these PR campaigns, and Public Relations examples that we discussed.
To begin with, you can conclude that it is important to use a multi-channel approach for your campaigns. It is always better to leverage new media like social networking sites in conjunction with traditional media.
Focus on doing good for the community, and society through your Public Relations campaigns. As it is all about the public image, it will help you in projecting a warm, and cordial brand image. Thus, it is advised to execute charitable, and community-focused PR initiatives.
Keep on innovating, and always look for a fresh approach for your Public Relations campaigns. If you will use the same old pitching approaches, strategies, and ideas, it will decrease the effectiveness of your campaigns.
And, since consumer behavior, and trends are always changing, it is important to adopt a unique angle for your PR campaigns. Think something out of the box, and be creative, and innovative.
Moreover, mentioning events, and trending topics in your Public Relations campaigns can prove to be a great exercise, provided it is done with good judgment, and does not harm the sentiments of any particular community.
It is also a great idea to dwell your Public Relations campaign around current issues, topical references, and trends, like Uber, and Getty Museum did.
What do you think about Public Relations, and Marketing? Do you think they are important or are these fields overrated? And, did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments. For more posts on Public Relations, and, Public Relations examples don’t forget to check out our blog.