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The Future of PR and Marketing: Part Two

This is the second of three Guest Posts by Rick Rudman, CEO and President.

Part Two: Who Owns It and What Do We Call It?

Some people have proclaimed that PR is becoming a lot more like marketing. It seems to me that marketing is becoming a lot more like PR.  In fact, the marketing mix is already changing with more pull techniques – like content marketing – and organizations are shifting resources to help with this new marketing model.

As Scott Stratten discusses in his book UnMarketing, many marketing professionals are struggling to adapt to the new reality.

PR professionals, on the other hand, are experts at reaching and influencing audiences. Historically this was done through media relations – getting reporters to tell your story to the public.  This was critical because it carried with it independent, third-party validation which remains an important element of media coverage today. Later on, Vocus and PRWeb pioneered the search-engine optimized news release and, all of a sudden, PR people were going direct to the public – reaching and influencing people online with their own content.

Today, social networks have created a way for PR professionals to reach and influence people both individually and en masse. Social networks are large and growing. They provide a ripple effect.

And perhaps they offer that critical, independent, third-party endorsement – except, instead of coming from a journalist, it comes from a trusted social network that is actually very good at identifying authenticity, transparency and quality.  I would suggest that this aspect of social networks, in many ways, makes social media the new media relations.

So let’s ask a question which has been on a lot of people’s mind over the past few years. If PR is about reaching and influencing people – and yet the new model of marketing is about reaching and influencing people – then who owns it and what do we call it? Is this PR or marketing?

The answer is that I think we’re asking the wrong question.

It doesn’t really matter what we call it.


Click here to read Part One of this series by Rick Rudman.

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