The Essential Relationship Between Public Relations & Sales

by Sarah Kelliher

If your public relations and sales departments aren’t communicating regularly, you’re missing out on a key opportunity to better manage your brand.

I was reminded of this recently as I sat in on a sales presentation for one of our clients, Legacy Pointe at UCF, a university-affiliated, continuing care retirement community about a mile from UCF’s main campus set to open later this year.

Our team supports Legacy Pointe at UCF’s sales and marketing team, and while we aren’t conducting direct sales outreach to prospective residents ourselves, we are leveraging public relations strategies and tactics with the goal of generating leads and building awareness around Orlando’s first university-affiliated retirement community.

During this presentation, my eyes were opened to the parallels between the external sales process and the work we do as public relations practitioners, and how both departments can mutually benefit.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

PR pros can have a direct impact on a prospective customer’s journey through the sales funnel – from awareness to conversion – and can help an internal team turn every customer touch point into a communications touch point. According to Forbes, public relations can support sales teams by providing the information, content and tools for them to be more effective throughout each stage of the funnel, driving validation and trust through relevant, data-driven messaging.

This type of support inherently relies on the quality of an idea, service or product, as well as how clearly information is communicated across departments of influence. That is why bringing together sales and public relations is essential to selling consumers on any product, service, idea or concept.

Aligning your public relations and sales departments doesn’t have to involve a major organizational restructure, either. PR Daily outlines six tips for integrating the work of PR and sales such as resharing posts on social media or name-dropping key media placements in sales presentations.

While salespeople sell directly to prospects, communications professionals “sell” through different mediums – including earned media coverage, social media posts, blog posts, white papers and more – by leveraging the information their sales partners are already pitching.

For example, after discussing what characteristics set Legacy Pointe at UCF apart from other senior living communities with their sales team, we pitched and secured a media opportunity with Orlando Business Journal about the community’s historic university affiliation. Following publication, our client reported receiving inquiries from individuals who read the story and wanted to learn more about life at Legacy Pointe at UCF.

With Legacy Pointe at UCF, our team works with sales to ensure that future residents know they aren’t just purchasing a home – instead, they are investing into a community of lifelong learning and continuing care, which is essential to their health and successful aging.

Start the Conversation

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to bring your sales and public relations people together to talk about each department’s goals and establish joint strategies that will elevate your business. In order to succeed, both teams must buy in to this collaborative approach with the goal of working together to communicate transparently. In doing so, you can better align on strategies and tactics, avoid “double-dipping” and work together toward larger company goals.

After all, you are on the same team.

If you currently work in sales and are interested in incorporating new public relations strategies and tactics to advance your company’s goals and objectives, I’d recommend reading this post on finding the right PR partner from my colleague, Heather Keroes, APR.

Best of luck and happy selling!

Category: Sarah Kelliher, Taking Aim Tags: , , , No Comments

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