The convergence of Marketing and PR

Should we treat Marketing and PR as similar disciplines?


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Many people within the Marketing discipline regard Public Relations as subset, Public Relations is a function of Marketing. Marketing tends to be used as the umbrella term for all communications and planned activity between supplier and customer.

PR builds and cements relationships and reputations through two-way communications, not only existing relationships but with all potential audiences.

Information that an organisation communicates to its audience and the response from the audience becomes the brand image and reputation. Company employees – Sales, Marketing and Advertising personnel – all act as communicators to an audience and all need to move forward together with a coherent, co-ordinated message. PR and Marketing disciplines work well together to achieve this objective better now than ever before due to the current availability of new tools.

Marketing, when not trying to sell a product or service, is not usually involved in public affairs, influence Government or employee communications. However, as a result of convergence of disciplines – social media and communications technologies, Sales, Marketing, PR and media relations – all have co-ordinated goals in a common environment.

Evolution of the discipline of PR has developed over the last century – PR and Marketing layers have overlapped significantly in recent times. Today’s technology and its rapid integration into society, Social media has triggered the next phase of internet evolution; these branches of Marketing and PR have truly converged.

In conclusion, all those involved in Marketing and PR need to combine their intellectual efforts to ensure that the same co-ordinated message is engaged from all areas of the business to and from all potential audiences.

Source: Bill Sledzik, Associate Professor of PR & Bob Batchelor, Assistant Professor of PR

Source: Based on a video release from the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Kent State University, Ohio.