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Publication #AEC398

Extension Marketing: Integrated Marketing1

Ricky Telg, Tracy Irani, and James Varvorines2

This EDIS publication, focusing on integrating communication elements into the marketing of your Extension program, is the third of a five-part EDIS publications series on developing marketing campaigns for your local Cooperative Extension program. This series includes publications on campaign planning and audience analysis development, creative and media strategies, budgets, and evaluation. Click here to navigate the series.

Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing is the process of coordinating promotional tools to build and maintain brand awareness, identity, and preference. Sending different messages through different kinds of media increases the chances of successfully reaching and persuading the target audience. Integrated marketing uses many different types of marketing methods, such as public relations and sales promotion, to reach the target audience. One of the most important aspects of successful integrated marketing is maintaining a consistent theme throughout all of the messages that are being used.

Public Relations

Public relations, which uses non-paid media, is a marketing and management tool that deals with an organization's public issues. Public relations attempts to promote goodwill, promote a product or service, enhance internal communications, counteract negative publicity, lobby, and give advice and counsel. To achieve these goals, public relations uses news releases, feature stories, company newsletters, interviews and news conferences, sponsored events, and publicity to reach mass media and different audiences. Public relations sometimes is referred to as a way "to bank goodwill." The more good you do for a community, the more goodwill is "banked" so that people will remember the positive activities you do. Public relations is a valuable tool because it can reach a broad audience and is an inexpensive way to send messages.

Media Relations

Media relations is a tool of public relations that can be another component to an effective local Extension marketing campaign effort. Media relations establishes a relationship with your local news media. Most people get their news through television and radio stations, newspapers, and local magazines. Now, of course, the Web is a major news site, but in most locales, websites of local news events are maintained by broadcast or print news outlets. To develop an effective media relations strategy, here are some suggestions:

  • Set realistic goals. It is probably unrealistic to expect that every news release you send out will result in a front-page story. Instead, you may try getting a story placed on the community calendar on television or in a newspaper, rather than a front-page story. Those happen very rarely.

  • On a regular basis, provide informational materials to reporters. Examples include news releases, public service announcements (PSAs), photographs, and letters to the editor.

  • Become a reputable and dependable expert source. Get to be recognized in your community as the expert on a particular topic of interest. If reporters trust you and know that you are an expert, you will be called on time after time for comments.

  • Get to know the reporters in your geographic region, and know their "beat" assignments of reporters. Who covers your "beat"? Depending on the story, it might be covered by an education reporter, a business reporter, or a science reporter. Contact the reporters personally, and follow-up with phone calls, e-mails, letters, and personal visits.

The most important thing to remember about media relations is that newspapers, local magazines, and broadcast media are in business to inform and serve their readers and viewers. The best way to get more media attention is to make your Extension programs newsworthy. Media outlets consider newsworthy stories to be those that are timely, unique, and impact local residents.

Brand Marketing

Brand marketing uses clear, unified messages, coupled with a consistent product or service. People often choose brand name services or merchandise over less expensive equivalents because of the perception that these products and services are more consistent, meaning the consumer can expect the same results each time, and of higher quality. Brands are able to achieve this perception by approaching the correct target audience, making the audience see the product or service as being different or better, and capitalizing on success to further the promotion of the brand. Extension is a brand in its own right. UF/IFAS Extension provides information and expertise to assist the public in a variety of areas. Many of these services are provided at little or no charge. In Florida, UF/IFAS Extension has begun using a statewide campaign—"Solutions for Your Life"—to make Extension recognizable as a unified brand, no matter in what county the office may reside. The concept—"real answers for real life"—is simple, but its message is clear through its delivery.

Sales Promotion

Sales promotion uses incentives to create a perception of greater brand value and to encourage consumers to purchase the organization's brand. Often the goal is to generate a trial purchase. If the consumers enjoy the first interaction, they are more likely to repeat the purchase and potentially make larger purchases. Types of sales promotions include coupons, contests, trade shows, sampling, and loyalty programs. An Extension program example could be a Master Gardeners exhibition that hopes to introduce UF/IFAS Extension to more people in the community. Members of the community can be invited to view the exhibits and encouraged to take some of the information that Extension provides for use at home. If they find the information helpful, they will be more likely to request this service and possibly other similar Extension programs in the future.

Quick Reference Guide

Integrated Marketing Basics

Public Relations

  • Promote goodwill

  • Promote a product or service

  • Enhance internal communications

  • Counteract negative publicity

  • Lobby

  • Give advice and counsel

Methods of Public Relations

  • News release

  • Feature story

  • Company newsletter

  • Interview and press conference

  • Sponsored event

  • Publicity

Media Relations

  • Set realistic goals

  • On a regular basis, provide informational materials to reporters

  • Become a reputable and dependable expert source

  • Get to know the reporters in your geographic region, and know their "beat" assignments of reporters

Newsworthiness of Story Ideas Based on...

  • Timeliness

  • Uniqueness

  • Local impact

Brand Marketing

  • Packaged goods

  • Defined services

  • Outlets selling the goods

  • Clear, unified messages

  • Consistent product or service

Methods of Brand Marketing

  • Approach the correct target audience

  • Make audience see product as different or better

  • Capitalize on success to further promotion of the brand

Sales Promotion

  • Incentives create a perception of greater brand value

  • Encourage consumers to purchase the organization's brand

Methods in Sales Promotion

  • Coupons

  • Contests

  • Sampling

  • Loyalty programs

Applying the Concepts of Integrated Marketing

Think of an upcoming Extension program you will be working on.

  • What public relations tools have you used in the past? Were they successful? Why or why not? What do you think might be successful in the future?

  • How effective have your media relations strategies been in the past in getting your local Extension program in news outlets? Why do you think they have or have not been successful? What might you do differently?

  • Do you believe you could create a marketable brand? What kind of brand could you generate for your programming? Could you tie it to the Solutions for Your Life campaign?

  • Have you ever used a sales promotion? If so, how well did it work? Do you think any of your current programming could benefit from a sales promotion?



This document is AEC398, one of a series of the Agricultural Education and Communication Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 2008. Revised December 2010. Reviewed November 2014. Visit the EDIS website at


Ricky Telg, professor; Tracy Irani, associate professor; and James Varvorines, graduate student; Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.