PR’s just marcoms, right?

2 Feb

A marketing colleague set this hare running a few days ago, and David Phillips has entered the chase. I tried to ignore the provocation on the grounds that it merely stemmed from envy (of our reputation, coherence and, yes, market position/reputation.)

But I met an agency principal yesterday whose main service appears to be media relations. Yet he shies away from ‘public relations’ on the grounds that clients don’t understand what it is. Instead, he prefers to offer them marketing communications.

I’ve argued this view before (saying that what we do tends either to be marketing communications,  corporate communications or public affairs – so why don’t we come clean). The counter argument is that our newly chartered professional body is called the Chartered Institute of Public Relations – and this name isn’t going away. So public relations it remains, with all the confusion and baggage this brings.

2 Responses to “PR’s just marcoms, right?”

  1. Michael Sommermeyer 04/02/2006 at 8:49 am #

    I find it interesting that Proctor and Gamble believes its future marketing efforts are tied to public relations, when this is the company that arguably inventing “relationship marketing” with the soap opera.
    I contend many of the activities associated with public relations have been borrowed by the marketing and advertising specialities when they benefit the needs of a company to “sell” more product.
    Companies recognize they need relationships to further their sales and reputations. Therefore, public relations will continue to be a needed activity, whatever they chose to call it.

  2. David Jones 04/02/2006 at 7:46 pm #

    I believe the low-hanging fruit in the PR industry is marketing communications, so if you’re in it for the money you’re going to fish where the fish are. It’s too bad really when there is so much more we offer. Those of us with any time in the business realize that marcom is pretty much a commodity business and it’s easily replicated by a cheaper competitor. We should be building relationships based on more than just publicity reports and media clipping books.

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