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Inbound Marketing is not PR

Inbound Marketing is not PR. According to the Chartered Institution of Public Relations definition of PR “is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.”


PR is not Inbound Marketing


According to Hubspot, the definition of Inbound Marketing is “Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be.”


Wikipedia says Inbound Marketing


Wikipedia says “Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.”


How do you define it?


Inbound Marketing is not PR as by its very definition PR is an outbound activity. That means that an inbound marketing agency wouldn’t practice PR as part of an inbound campaign, but could employ that as part of its outbound activity if an agency operates in both fields.


There are many instances of agencies employing PR as part of the overall strategy and vice versa, like PR 20/20 a PR agency (and now Hubspot agency partner) that adopted a complete inbound philosophy in order to onboard more clients and quantify the work with the associated analytics Hubspot provides.


My Opinion


My own opinion on the matter is that Public Relations or PR is about managing relationships and promoting products and services whereas inbound marketing is about managing relations by educating and nurturing. PR seems to sing about the products or services using TV Adverts and newspaper articles, radio adverts and celebrity endorsements. It’s very much a shout out and look at me type of activity.


Inbound marketing, in my opinion, doesn’t scream and shout about a product from the outset, rather it relies on a slower more thought out process of providing content to talk to you as an individual, the further down the buying decision you become until you are ready to convert. It lets you learn more about a product and service, in some cases in far more depth than PR does and allows you to do this at a pace that suits you.


PR is outbound therefore logically after a great PR campaign, the obligatory cold calling campaign will follow suit.


Inbound however can allow a call to be made after a client has registered their details willingly on a converting piece of content, suitable for a call after a period of nurturing. This could be an ebook, a landing page after a webinar, a registration page for a free or not free consultation. In short, the contact has given their details over willingly and permission for contact.


Inbound Marketing: Increases product demand by providing useful information to the right people at the right time.


PR/Brand Journalism: About ideas, who your brand is and what your brand stands for.


So in closing when asked if PR and inbound marketing are the same things you can confidently reply inbound marketing is not PR. Whilst very similar one activity is definitely more outbound than the other.


Inbound Marketing Call to Action

Paul Sullivan
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