Every company, unless a one man band, will invariably have more than one person focused on marketing, advertising, communications and PR. As we see an explosion of tools for marketing in all its iterations, on and offline, and the lines between each blur, so it is becoming ever more important to ensure that all those involved in promoting your business and products know what each other are doing to ensure a cohesive strategy.

For instance, traditionally, it is likely that your communications department or marcomms will have handled press releases, and developed relationships with journalists and media, as well as establishing a system for distribution. Whilst this may have begun to move online, it may well be that some of those who are interested in the goings on in your company nowadays are not the traditional routes to publicity. Your ‘promoters’ may follow your Twitter account, watch what you add to delicious.com, be a friend on Facebook, be LinkedIn to you, or subscribe to an RSS feed which is being pulled from your blog to a location entirely unknown to you. (Add 1 million other possibilities for your ‘followers’ to monitor you, and you might be close to the reality of the situation today!)

This means that all those involved in any type of promotion for your company now need to work very closely together to ensure that any publicity you push out for your business reaches the maximum target audience. Your customer database may not be accessible by the person who would normally have the responsibility for press releases, but it may be that a quick enquiry of your customers would yield details of all those who are interested in your news releases. (Customer Relationship Management needs to extend to *everyone* with whom your business communicates and a database showing contact preferences, the types of data people are interested in etc may prove a worthwhile investment).

Improving communication within and without the company will become increasingly important as journalists move to Twitter to gather breaking or industry news, rather than relying on press release distro services and emails; as bloggers gain traction, reputation and audience; as marketing adopts different guises, such as a promotional video short disguised as a viral clip or game; as everyone becomes more social and your marketing team expands to include all those who follow, friend or link to you; as online communities grow to include not just your supporters, but also competitors; and so on.

By integrating all your communications and marketing, you should make it easier to promote your business, both using your in-house team and the resources available to you from an often willing, global audience looking for content to share.

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of Silicon.com's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology