I continue to be fascinated by the blurry line between Public Relations and Marketing. Social Media is to blame.
The Difference Between Public Relations and Marketing
For most of my career, PR was something I saw only when working with my client’s corporate communications people on corporate image advertising or usage standards for the company logo. I knew their work was important, but I rarely had to consider it in my own plans. The client that most coordinated PR and Marketing was McDonald’s.
Social Media brings Public Relations and Marketing together
In the past couple of years, however, a lot changed. Social Media forced advertisers to share the megaphone with ordinary consumers. If you think that Social Media is automatically the province of a digital or ad agency, you’re overlooking the role of PR agencies, who understand how to field hot grounders from the general public. You’ve seen a lot of examples play out on Twitter. In fact, some of my favorite people to follow are PR execs such as Steve Rubel of Edelman.
What’s ahead in 2011
I’d recommend two recent articles if you’d like to dig into this topic a little deeper. The Economist had a long article last month describing the history of PR and its increased relevance today. Ronn Torossian, head of 5WPR, also published an article last month, but with a forward view, predicting five challenges for the industry in 2011. (I also posted on this topic in 2009.)
Practical advice for Publicists and Marketers
One naysayer commented on Torossian’s article, questioning the increased role of PR in corporate decision-making. Perhaps we can question whether Torossian’s vision will become real in 2011, but things seem to be headed in the direction he predicts. The key for PR people is to better understand corporate marketing objectives and strategies. The key for Marketers is to better understand how PR can help them connect with consumers.