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PR is Marketing...And?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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One thing that we love about our industry is that there is a plethora of free information and resources out there that can make one better understand the craft of marketing and communications. If you are in the marketing field and you want to continue to learn, there is nothing standing in your way.

However, it is the kind of information out there that interests us the most. 

In high school, we had the opportunity to have nearly four years of marketing education. We supplemented that education with apprenticeships, and marketing & business clubs. Through those studies and competitions, we learned that marketing is a huge industry composed of the four "Ps" — product, price, place, and promotion.

We were taught that marketing owned those categories. 

Let's fast forward.

Now, over a decade later, reputable companies like Vocus are putting out videos that are exclaiming that public relations (a practice in the "promotion" P, mind you) is just now becoming a function of marketing. Not just that, there are debates on G+, MosaicHub, and other professional forums about what marketing owns and what public relations owns.

Imagine our surprise.

There are reasons why this is the case. Marketing as a core course of study in high schools is just now becoming more popular. Also, as of 15–20 years ago, only few universities had accredited communications schools that taught public relations. This too has recently become the norm. Also, we wrote before that a plurality of advertising and public relations professionals that are in our industry basically "fell into it," not having an educational foundation of it, but had skills that could be adapted to be useful.

So these professionals, who had to learn via experience, are now understanding that public relations is not a standalone activity from advertising (yet another practice in the "promotion" P) and are trying to catch everyone else up.

And that's a good thing.

These professionals are exactly right — public relations needs marketing activities to support it, and marketing activities can only get so far without narratives that public relations can create and deliver.

Below is the fourth video of Vocus' "State of Marketing" series called "PR is Marketing!" Enjoy.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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