Thoughts on Mixing Marketing with PR

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Posted At: April 12, 2007 10:49 AM

by Craig Langley

Anthony D’Angelo, director of global marketing communications for Carrier Corporation’s Transicold Division in Syracuse, N.Y., said, “Public relations is a profession in adolescence. It has so many different aspects that it’s hard to understand if you’re not in the field.”

Marketing revolves around the concepts of selling products and generating profit. Because of these financially driven motives, many important aspects of PR can be sacrificed.

“It is possible for marketers to look at PR as a subset of their job,” D’Angelo said, “although they may not be thinking about relationships at all.”

Joseph Trahan, CEO, president and international media trainer of Trahan & Associates in Covington, La., said, “Relationship building is the business we are in. Marketers are worried about the short term.”
Jean Vincent of Vincent McCabe Inc., a research consulting company located in Skaneateles, N.Y., has a background in marketing but has overseen many public relations operations. “Public relations professionals need to understand that if there are no markets and no sales, it will not matter if the corporation has good relations with employees or activists. On the other hand, if a company’s reputation has been damaged through poor handling of its relationships, it’s not likely that the company will meet its sales goals over the long term,” Vincent said.

Vincent believes that marketers should view public relations “as one of the most economical tools in their arsenals to gain awareness and preference for the company’s products and services.

“Learning to separate the hard sell from two-way communications is the first and hardest thing a marketer has to do when making the switch.”

Writing is the muscle that all successful PR practitioners flex. It is how communication begins. It can make or break relationships. There are other issues that revolve around writing, as well, that can hurt a marketer.

“If you don’t know AP style, don’t count on any press releases getting printed and that’s just to start. Learning how to approach an editor and developing content of interest to that editor has nothing to do with writing promotional material,” Vincent said.

Moving a product can do a company wonders when the financial reports come out. But, there is no dollar amount that can be put on relationship building.

By hiring marketers to take over public relations positions, organizations could be sacrificing the time and effort put into building particular relationships. The two professions should work together to maintain what has been created and to further each field.

E-mail: Joseph Trahan
E-mail: Anthony D’Angelo
E-mail: Jean Vincent

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