The conjunction of public relations and marketing is illustrated, not so fancifully, by the concept of content marketing in which public relations is assigned the relational aspects of the "marketing funnel" — webinars and events, newsletters, e-mails and publications, websites, blogs and social media. Note that, in these times, these functions are largely digital. Which confirms that there is more to public relations than meets the web-based eye. These thoughts are prompted by a meaty posting, "Beyond PR," by the heads of Marketing Experiments and PR Newswire.
Public relations isn't all transactional — that's what bothers us most about the "marketing funnel" concept with PR functions at its base. There are things you do for sound relational purposes that have little or no immediate impact on "transactions" — a fancy term for sales, marketing's aim. We could run on about all of this, but suffice it to say that marketing and PR don't belong fully together. Not for the long-term standing of almost any organization. They're helpmates, important partners, to a point, but let's not get overly fascinated with "funnels."
Yet the funnel concept deserves a full, effective presentation, which it got from Dr. Flint McGlaughin, managing director of Marketing Experiments, and Ninan Chacko, CEO of PR Newswire, in a webinar last week that is reprised in their post, "5 Content Marketing Rules PR Can Play By, Too."
You know, harking back to my earlier time in the public relations of nuclear power, the marketing funnel pictured here reminds me of a cooling tower. And the function of a cooling tower is to let off spent steam produced in power generation. The marketing funnel, though, is supposed to be a tool for customer engagement, not shedding. We're beginning to ramble...
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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