Here’s Why You Need Public Relations in 2016

Public relations has always played its part in the marketing mix, even if it was added to plans late and rarely recognized like other disciplines.

But the emergence of skippable, blockable, opt-out-able advertising, not to mention ever-more integrated campaigns, means PR can suddenly demand more than a supporting role—and maybe even take center stage.

At the Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas, Coldwell Banker deployed its internal PR team and CooperKatz & Co. to talk about how smart home tech will affect the selling and buying of residential real estate.

Clients increasingly understand that marketing is multichannel, and that the digital and experiential spaces lend themselves to magnification by PR, said Harris Diamond, McCann Worldgroup chairman-CEO.

“Our smart home strategy is a result of my challenge to our PR internal department and CooperKatz to craft a three-year plan that moves us beyond traditional public relations, and into the digital age and strategic partnerships,” said Coldwell Banker Chief Marketing Officer Sean Blankenship. “There is no better discipline than this in today’s transformative and interactive marketing landscape.”

Putting the company’s PR team in the lead role for its smart home initiative has helped Coldwell Banker partner with the likes of Nest, LG, CNET and Lutron, Mr. Blankenship added.

H&R Block Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Collins said advertising may still be dominant, but PR is rising. “We are now spending more on PR, especially around our cause-marketing program on improving teen financial literacy, Dollars & Sense,” she said. “We’re also doing more PR around our partnership with the NBA and social media, for example.”

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