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The “Inside Out” Approach to Marketing


Yesterday I gave a presentation in Portland as part of Rich Brooks’ flyte school all about the integration of marketing and communications.

I talked about how all the advertising in the world can’t sell a product or service that has bad PR…in other words, if the public doesn’t have a good relationship with a business or organization, they’re not going to buy anything or donate any money even if the organization spends millions on advertising.

Think of companies whose image has suffered recently:  Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Netflix and BP Oil.

If these companies didn’t address their PR problems, but rather went out and bought glitzy ads in magazines and on TV, nobody would believe them or want to do business with them.

The essence of my presentation was that marketing needs an “inside out” approach. Any business or organization needs to first be sure that its stakeholders have a trusting relationship with them before they launch any kind of advertising or marketing campaign.

Katie Delahaye Paine of New Hampshire has a book we recommend called “Measure What Matters,” which includes a step-by-step guide to doing a “Grunig Relationship Survey” to help you assess and measure whether your customers trust you. If not, you need to address those issues.

Good public relations is the foundation of any marketing campaign. People need to trust you to do business with you.

It seems obvious, but so many business people overlook this premise because they get caught up in generating all the ‘stuff’ of marketing:  brochures, websites, ads, trade shows, etc. All this stuff is expensive, and you will waste a lot of time and money if you don’t know first whether your people trust you.

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