Troubling, indeed, is Deanne Hollis-DeGrandpre's appraisal of the prospects for small public relations offices, those that aren't, say, FleishmanHillard or Edelman, in these increasingly digital times. Blissful ignorance, or avoidance, of the differences between public relations and marketing is sending unwitting businesses into the clutches of advertising folks and costing them deeper roots. This is paraphrasing Deanne, but it's pretty close to what she's concerned about.
Deanne provides a quote from Richard Edelman that sums up the situation both nicely and direly: "PR is more than a set of tactics or tools. It's a mindset; the ideas that come from PR people are different than those that come from advertising people. Both are engaged in storytelling, but the PR idea stimulates discussion and has the potential to play out over years. A PR idea has to start with relevancy and newsworthiness."
PR ideas, indeed, need to be genuinely relational, both for the short and longer term; they're more about community building. They occur on a different wavelength from marketing, a reality that's often not recognized. Marketing is about more immediate gain than PR; PR is about deeper roots than marketing. Deanne's lengthy, very generous post helps make that clear for today's world. It's a must read, and save.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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