Gini Dietrich

Public Relations vs. Marketing

By: Gini Dietrich | August 8, 2011 | 
295

Last week I violated the rules of the Network of PR Professionals LinkedIn group.

I didn’t mean to, but, according to the group “rules,” you can only post things in there that are about traditional PR.

But I posted the summary of Marcus Sheridan’s webinar about the types of content you can create to generate leads. And, because the blog post said “generate inbound leads” instead of “attract Web site visitors” or “increase brand awareness,” I broke the rules.

You see, I believe a few things:

  1. Public relations (not publicity) can and should be measured to sales results;
  2. Public relations professionals need to gain some basic marketing skills or our industry will become defunct;
  3. Public relations is the very best place for content development because we are, after all, writers; and
  4. Really good content does more than attract Web site visitors or increase brand awareness – it generates inbound leads for the sales team.

If you know me well, you know that my being scolded over breaking the rules of any kind is mortifying to me. So, I apologized, said I understood the rules, and that I wouldn’t do it again.

But the conversation didn’t end there.

The email’s author said:

I agree with you that generating content – especially in the digital age – is a primary function of any PR department or campaign. Really good marketing copy is essential for any organization that wishes to engage with visitors to its Web site, blog, Facebook page, etc., and get them to bite on various calls-to-action within the content.

But marketing in not PR. An ideal PR objective specifies desired outcomes within target publics, such as increased knowledge and/or awareness, or changed opinions, attitudes, and behavior. None of these are sales functions.

So here we are – a traditional PR guy and me at an impasse.

I grew up in the traditional PR world, so I get it. But I also see some big changes coming in our industry. Changes that mean companies will work only with agencies and consultants who can measure their work to sales results.

As much as I love the work I’ve always done, it’s impossible to measure “increased knowledge and/or awareness, or changed opinions, attitudes, and behavior” to revenue. Sure, we know intuitively that it works and we also know that, without PR, a brand or company will suffer because there are no communication about it.

But it can’t be measured. Not in a hard numbers kind of way.

Integrated traditional PR, digital media, and some basic marketing, though, can be measured. Sometimes in as little as 60 days.

So should creating content that generates inbound leads be left to the marketing folks because their function is to help sales? Or can PR be responsible for it, as well?

If it’s the latter, what’s the harm in discussing it with our peers around the world, via a LinkedIn group, so we all become better professionals that know how to change with the times?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • When we define our tasks so narrowly, we paint ourselves into a corner and have a hard time getting out. The entire communications process is a collaborative, fully integrated process, and regardless of your task or “department”, we should all be working for a common purpose.

    And I see the same thing in LinkedIn. I posted something in a non-profit marketing group once and was chastised because my topic dealt with businesses. I thought, and still do, that the concepts in that particular post, carried over nicely, but since I didn’t specifically mention non-profits in the post, I was rejected. Similar things have happened in other groups that are so narrowly defined.

  • Ameena Falchetto

    Labels labels! Ouf! I don’t think anyone, unless they are from a traditional Marketing OR PR background can ever tell you the difference between the 2. Does the difference really matter? When it comes to sales which is the end result who cares?I’ve always believed that Marketing and/or PR are one of those areas where measurability is a grey area which is the reason so many companies will slash their budgets.

    PR “purists” should retreat back to the lecture theatre and discuss 10 year old traditional cases studies and stop pretending they are informed about what’s going on today and tomorrow.

  • Gini I think you are right and it don’t agree with the narrow definition of PR in your LinkedIn group.

    Any business function should ne tied to one thing, generate sales. Increasing traffic and awareness are useless if they don’t increase sales. For any business to exist and have a budget to spend on PR, it needs sales.

    If we relate this to a brick and mortar business, it’s like saying I want more people to come to my store and learn about my products but not buy stuff.

    The ‘traditional PR guy’ misses a point when he says he wants PR to change opinions, attitudes and behaviors. This is a sale function, people need to buy your opinion, your attitude or behavior. It’s a sale function.

    Change in behavior can be measured, if people start to buy more of X instead of Y, this can be measured.

  • Fascinating happenstance and very sad. As I’ve been suggesting, rather vehemently, “traditional” no longer belongs in our vocabulary to define what we in PR do. Those insistent on staying the course are a dying breed; it will be a rude awakening for them to figure it out after the fact.

    That said, the road ahead is rocky at best. Marketing holds the direct line to sales. I recently was contacted by a sales person because she had seen my work and wanted to see if I could help her in a new sales capacity. Very interesting opportunity that went no farther than me trying to establish her identity and “brand,” and her believing her customers wouldn’t care.

    For PR to influence sales directly, we need a direct line to them to educate our merits and bring them over to the dark side.

  • ScottHepburn

    I think the bigger question is why any PR pro would feel it’s worth the time and effort to call you out on this. Don’t we have bigger fish to fry?

    I see the value of thought leadership, networking, conversation and everything else we do via social channels. Heck, I’m part of that ecosystem. But does getting all nit-picky and busting your balls over this really make any sense? Now that the cherished integrity of the LinkedIn Group has been preserved, what social good has been achieved?

    I tend to agree with you on the “PR needs to think more like marketing” debate. It’s just weird to me that someone felt this was where we needed to draw a line in the sand.

  • “An ideal PR objective specifies desired outcomes within target publics, such as increased knowledge and/or awareness, or changed opinions, attitudes, and behavior.”

    In the case of a business, don’t all of those desired outcome examples end up back at sales?

    –Tony Gnau

  • samfiorella

    “In times of change, learners will inherit the earth,

    while the learned will find themselves well-equipped

    to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

    – Eric Hoffer

  • samfiorella

    “In times of change, learners will inherit the earth,

    while the learned will find themselves well-equipped

    to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

    – Eric Hoffer

  • @T60Productions and HR…and manufacturing…and accounting…etc. When did we become so fractured? And perhaps this is the reason why so many companies seem bloated in some areas, yet don’t perform well. The more fractured we become, the more difficult INTERNAL communications becomes, and therefore the entire process breaks down.

    Dang, now I have to find a way to use all that in a post for my own blog.

  • bryanwillmert

    How dare you @ginidietrich! lol.. It feels like we are in a place where PR is merging into levels of marketing which is having strings in social media and then into sales. Its like it is becoming one big cluster.. Guess we have to find a way to get along! 🙂

  • Huh? I think my head just started hurting when I read that. I guess I just ‘don’t get it, but why would someone call you out over something like that. It certainly isn’t that black and white.

    I won’t junk up your post because I don’t know the strict delineation (I hope I used that word ok, it was my word of the day) between PR and marketing.

    The only red flag I saw was this comment: As much as I love the work I’ve always done, it’s impossible to measure “increased knowledge and/or awareness, or changed opinions, attitudes, and behavior” to revenue. Sure, we know intuitively that it works and we also know that, without PR, a brand or company will suffer because there are no communication about it.

    From a world all about measurement, I would think you need to find a way to equate it to the bottom line, increased profitability, etc. Feel good is not a quantifier. I mean, you know what the financials look like before vs what they look like after your engagement, right?

    Am I missing something here?

  • HowieSPM

    But marketing in not PR. An ideal PR objective specifies desired outcomes within target publics, such as increased knowledge and/or awareness, or changed opinions, attitudes, and behavior. None of these are sales functions.

    OMG This statement he might as well take an M-16 and blow his head apart. MARKETING is desired outcomes within target publics such as increased knowledge and/or awareness, change of opinions, attitudes, and behavior (which leads to a sale)

    Here are the two caveats I have when it comes to PR vs Marketing:

    PR is the one that handles incidents like BP Oil Spills and Ford Trucks with faulty gas tank straps. They help the company give a professional face and copy to address these things. Marketing does not do this.

    The second is Media. The PR person like the one I work with for a client will try to get Journalists and Media Properties to give us coverage whether in articles or TV shows etc. A Marketer will just buy those placements. I will buy an ad in the paper. I will pitch a TV show to be partial branded content or product placement by offering cold hard cash.

    Obviously with the second both Marketing and PR can be tied to sales. And many people will think the first can not be tied to sales. But it is. In fact possibly more critically because a LOSS in Sales can be even more catastrophic than a lack in increase in sales. Companies like BP and Ford with massive capital outlays require a certain level of sales to break even or the fixed costs will not be amortized across enough units.

  • HowieSPM

    But Marketing is not PR. An ideal PR objective specifies desired outcomes within target publics, such as increased knowledge and/or awareness, or changed opinions, attitudes, and behavior. None of these are sales functions.

    OMG This statement he might as well take an M-16 and blow his head apart. MARKETING is desired outcomes within target publics such as increased knowledge and/or awareness, change of opinions, attitudes, and behavior (which leads to a sale)

    Here are the two caveats I have when it comes to PR vs Marketing:

    PR is the one that handles incidents like BP Oil Spills and Ford Trucks with faulty gas tank straps. They help the company give a professional face and copy to address these things. Marketing does not do this.

    The second is Media. The PR person like the one I work with for a client will try to get Journalists and Media Properties to give us coverage whether in articles or TV shows etc. A Marketer will just buy those placements. I will buy an ad in the paper. I will pitch a TV show to be partial branded content or product placement by offering cold hard cash.

    Obviously with the second both Marketing and PR can be tied to sales. And many people will think the first can not be tied to sales. But it is. In fact possibly more critically because a LOSS in Sales can be even more catastrophic than a lack in increase in sales. Companies like BP and Ford with massive capital outlays require a certain level of sales to break even or the fixed costs will not be amortized across enough units.

  • HowieSPM

    @bdorman264 Bill your head hurts from your hangover. You read just fine.

  • HowieSPM

    @John Falchetto well the guy left out Tribal Elders but I bet he was just so going bonkers his small omission was just an oversight.

  • Well, I am not a PR person….but I think (and it’s just my opinion could be totally wrong!) is that all these arms need to work together for the greater good. PR, Marketing, IT, etc all work together to deliver the desired message and obtain the best results.

    I know I have said it before ( I think even in my guest piece here) but for example the best PR campaign wont get desired results if the correlating website cannot support campaign. Same with Marketing materials. It’s like a car, there are many components but they all need to work together to move the car forward and get from A to B!

  • commammo

    HI Gini – nice, provocative piece, I enjoyed it. A couple of comments:

    There are a lot of valuable PR activities that aren’t strictly related to sales. Issues management, crisis communications, employee communications, corporate social responsibility, to name a few.

    In the Integrated model, we agree to agree that everything eventually is about driving sales, but a more accurate understanding of public relations might be to say that we look to affect both ends of the revenue/expense calculus: we seek to contribute to sales and in the case of internal comms, reduce expenses.

    Financial impact (true ROI) isn’t necessarily the value of our profession — depending on the industry, the sales cycle can be so long or complex that isolating our contribution is too expensive or difficult — why spend the cash on proving the impact if we agree that having a good halo of positive vibe surrounding us is a desirable outcome?

    In public relations, we worry more about the quality of relationships with our many stakeholders — another difference between marketing and PR is that we tailor our communication messages, style and methods according to specific objectives for each constituency. For too many marketers, every stakeholder looks like a nail, so every tool looks like a hammer.

    It’s not wrong to say that we need to drive sales — we do. But that’s not the extent of our value to organizations. Even social media isn’t all about driving leads — that’s just part of the puzzle.

    Cheers!

  • I suppose I don’t understand the author’s reply. I come from a background where marketing and PR blend together. PR is a part of marketing, and marketing is a part of PR. They work together beautifully. I suppose what bothers me the most is the comment that “PR objective specifies desired outcomes within target publics, such as increased knowledge and/or awareness, or changed opinions, attitudes, and behavior. None of these are sales functions.” How are those not sales functions? They may not be all the time, but they can certainly contribute to sales.

  • jackielamp

    The funniest thing about this is that I increasingly come across clients who don’t understand there is a difference between marketing and PR at all. I’ve had clients who get confused as to why we’re asking to see the marketing calendar because they think it’s our job to put it together, even though we want to know about this so we can base our PR efforts off of what’s being done on the marketing end. PR falls under a broader marketing umbrella–it’s just one part of the larger mix. But a lot of companies don’t even realize that. So it’s just silly to me that someone thinks you can segregate “traditional PR” from the rest of the marketing mix and say that content creation tied back to sales lead gen is not part of PR. Aren’t they all part of the same program? Isn’t that what makes a program most successful?

  • ginidietrich

    @commammo Totally agree with you…and think there is HUGE value in integrating disciplines, breaking down silos, and working together to grow a business. My point is why would we limit our conversations to ONLY traditional PR practice when there are so many other things we can (and should) do?

  • AlexReed

    I agree! Gaining a better understanding of the way marketing, business, sales, advertising, PR, etc. works makes you better as a professional and makes the overall communication strategy more effective for your organization. Public Relations “groups” can and should focus on ways to become better PR professionals, but the way the world is shifting today, to land that job and move up in the workplace it is important to be a “jack of all trades.” In order to cut costs some organizations are even combining these different roles into one position. Even if that is not the case, businesses want to see results. Your understanding of the different functions in your organization will not only help you better communicate to one another and the public but will also give you a better understanding of how each position has an influence on one another and how you can better achieve results in your current role.

  • @jackielamp That’s true. PR and marketing may be sides of the same coin, but those sides have some very different functions from each other.

  • @ginidietrich The whole silo approach coupled with avoiding actually measuring results has been a hurdle for PR people for years. That’s part of the reason it so hard to get past selling hours instead of expertise. Sure, we generate content but the reason for that is to get results and the more measurable those results the better.

    Wake up folks! Closed minds don’t create success or growth.

  • glenn_ferrell

    Hmmm. Sounds like a Union debate. In a summer carpenter’s apprentice job I learned that a laborer has to carry any piece of wood over 4′ long. Silly distinction — but if you are a laborer, seeing a carpenter carry wood is an outrage. If you are a PR professional, seeing “PR activities” lumped under “marketing” may seem just as threatening.

    Considering all of this as a hierarchy makes more sense. Maybe with “Marketing” or “Communications” at the top — definitely not PR. At the bottom we find SEO, Social Media Management, Web Development, Copywriting, etc.. Large companies with large budgets can afford to operate at the lower levels of the hierarchy, creating specializations within their companies or hiring specialized firms. For small businesses, the web design step may be the catalyst for a marketing plan, the first time they consider press releases, the point where they learn about SEO, the process that kicks off their social media efforts, etc. Because their needs are simpler, their web development / SEO company may provide the whole enchilada.

    Hierarchies of professions inevitably collapse over time. Today, I think the rate of that “collapse” is driven by Moore’s law — which means that the collapse is accelerating … That is not entirely a bad thing, since there is a communication latency which slows down decision making at each level of the hierarchy. Collapsing this hierarchy makes businesses leaner, faster and more adaptable.

  • glenn_ferrell

    Oh… and I love the graphic ! 🙂

  • Ike

    I am a Communicator. Period.

    The rest is turf war.

  • Ike

    I am a Communicator. Period.

    The rest is turf war.

  • jeremyburton

    PR practitioners should help their organization accomplish its goals. PR and marketing should work hand-in-hand to achieve goals – whatever they may be. It doesn’t dilute the PR industry to talk about it on LinkedIn either.

  • @Ike Amen. 🙂

  • csalomonlee

    I apologize if this is a repeated comment but was unsure if the original one was received.

    In response to this quote: “An ideal PR objective specifies desired outcomes within target publics, such as increased knowledge and/or awareness, or changed opinions, attitudes, and behavior. None of these are sales functions.”

    My perspective is that all types of communications are to help drive the business objectives of the company forward, whether that is brand awareness, sales or community development. And in a world where sales, media opportunities and perception is increasingly social, where does the line between PR and marketing begin and end?

    When I went in-house from a PR agency, it was an eye opener to see how marketing tied directly into sales. By working closely with the marketing department – whether lead gen or director of marketing, I understand how PR fit into the overall marketing puzzle. The argument that PR fits one narrow part of the pie, I believe is outdated for the PR profession specifically, and marketing/communications overall.

    As a consultant, while public relations may be my foot into a client, my breadth of experience beyond just “traditional PR” allows me to dive deeper into my client’s overall marketing and communications needs. I would argue that more and more companies are seeking professionals with multiple skill sets. And hasn’t that been one of the major complaints of PR – to gain a seat at the marketing table?

    In the end, both sides need to come together and build off of one another to achieve the best results.

  • @csalomonlee I agree with you. I said something similar in my own comment. PR and marketing should complement each other. When they do, the results are better and everyone involved with the campaign has a better understanding of how the different components work and fit together.

  • @Ike Love this. It’s the way that I approach my professional work as a community manager, content editor and blogger – which all ultimately function to grow brand awareness for correctnicity and other projects.

  • titles / schmitles….. I work in sports and unless you are driving sales (long or short term) then ‘why are you doing it’… It’s nice to have good PR (traditional sense) – and it feels good to see your name in lights – but if it is not driving your business – then ‘why are we doing it”….

    Great PR sits in with the Sports team’s plan – works well with Marketing – and helps generate sales…

  • titles / schmitles….. I work in sports and unless you are driving sales (long or short term) then ‘why are you doing it’… It’s nice to have good PR (traditional sense) – and it feels good to see your name in lights – but if it is not driving your business – then ‘why are we doing it”….

    Great PR sits in with the Sports team’s plan – works well with Marketing – and helps generate sales…

  • Neicolec

    The whole debate reminds me of listening to editors debate the nuances when coming up with style guidelines for Microsoft. The differences were incredibly important to them–but it seemed that a lof of the issues they were discussing didn’t bear on the real issue of conveying needed information clearly. Similarly, does drawing lines like this really help? At the core, PR and Marketing almost always have the same goal of driving sales of some kind. This might be a naive view, though.

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller See, I think the same way you do. It doesn’t make any sense to not try to apply things that work in other industries, rather than saying, “That won’t work.”

    I guess it’s the same as the B2B argument that what works for B2C won’t work for them. Never mind we’re all consumers, no matter what we buy.

  • glenn_ferrell

    @Neicolec Nothing naive about that view 🙂 Arguing about these boundaries, in my naive opinion, is just an unfortunate loss of focus on the sales / revenue goal.

  • glenn_ferrell

    @Neicolec Nothing naive about that view 🙂 Arguing about these boundaries, in my naive opinion, is just an unfortunate loss of focus on the sales / revenue goal.

  • ginidietrich

    @Ameena Falchetto You are SO RIGHT about companies slashing the PR and marketing budgets. Because we’re seen as an expense, not an investment. So, if we can do things, using our skill set, to generate sales and become an investment, why wouldn’t we??

  • ginidietrich

    @Ameena Falchetto You are SO RIGHT about companies slashing the PR and marketing budgets. Because we’re seen as an expense, not an investment. So, if we can do things, using our skill set, to generate sales and become an investment, why wouldn’t we??

  • ginidietrich

    @John Falchetto Right..and to that very argument, what if I do my traditional PR job really well and drive loads of traffic and build awareness, but no one buys? Who gets the ax? Me or the marketing person?

  • Love Ike’s response! More than ever, the PR and marketing functions need to be integrated and working together to further business goals, the most important of which is to increase sales.

  • @ginidietrich i love when you admit that you think the way I do. I just think that the way we segment things makes things worse and more topheavy.

  • Love Ike’s response! More than ever, the PR and marketing functions need to be integrated and working together to further business goals, the most important of which is to increase sales.

  • Love Ike’s response! More than ever, the PR and marketing functions need to be integrated and working together to further business goals, the most important of which is to increase sales.

  • ginidietrich

    @Soulati | PR I agree…and that’s why I’m so bent on dissolving silos and working together. It makes me batty when we help marketing or PR departments build their databases or generate leads and then they won’t talk to sales. Drives. Me. Nuts.

  • ginidietrich

    @ScottHepburn Apparently we don’t all have bigger fish to fry. I wonder if it’s the old school not wanting to see what’s happening in the world? It could even relate to what I hear from business owners all the time: I need to see people’s eyeballs to close business. Or my customer isn’t online.

  • csalomonlee

    @ginidietrich

    Amen!

  • cparente

    Great post Gini. Steven is trying to run a tight ship, and I’m sure the typical LI group gets a lot of spammy stuff. But he erred big time here.

    The campaigns I run for B2B and B2G clients just don’t get funded if I can’t promise some kind of ROI. It’s not always sales, could be organic SEO improvement that saves money on AdWord campaign, could be call center savings. Sometimes it’s “pipeline movers” — things that demonstrably move a prospect through the sales pipeline.

    It that is an important metric, you need to understand the sales automation tool your client is using — Eloqua, Salesforce, etc.

  • @ginidietrich All of you including the CEO who bankrupted the company by hiring fools.

  • @HowieSPM I know Howie, leaving the tribal Elders out is a major mistake. They truly can’t be measured 🙂

  • PR and Marketing have become one and the same (in many ways). A good marketer will tell a story that will attract and build awareness–and they will utilize the various mediums available to get that message across. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Nothing is more attractive than a good story (or a good message). In that way, PR and Marketers are… marketing! You guessed it.

    The only significant difference is that Marketing ties itself it sales. PR to image. Now, PR has a job description that is somewhat broader, but not by much. They often need to work together, if not be the same… because you can’t build an image without a marketing plan.

    Make any sense? I have this habit of making everything connect and seem too similar for its own good–but I like simplicity and I attempt to make everything simple. ; )

  • @KenMueller@ginidietrich I may fall into the same line of thinking. I think being able to apply what I’ve learned from all my past jobs helps me to better meet my clients’ needs.

  • First of all, this graphic made me laugh out loud.

    However, the post did not. It made me shake my head in wonder. If we are going to be coy about what PR actually does, then we have another fight on our hands. The whole idea that PR shouldn’t generate inbound leads doesn’t make sense to me. If we can’t show an ROI for PR, then why would any business leader in their right mind keep it in the budget? This is why so many perceive PR to be fluff, and why it’s the first to go when it’s time to make cuts.

  • First of all, this graphic made me laugh out loud.

    However, the post did not. It made me shake my head in wonder. If we are going to be coy about what PR actually does, then we have another fight on our hands. The whole idea that PR shouldn’t generate inbound leads doesn’t make sense to me. If we can’t show an ROI for PR, then why would any business leader in their right mind keep it in the budget? This is why so many perceive PR to be fluff, and why it’s the first to go when it’s time to make cuts.

  • glenn_ferrell

    @John Falchetto@ginidietrich Well, we all hire fools — Congress — and the S&P just gave us all the axe 🙂

  • glenn_ferrell

    @John Falchetto@ginidietrich Well, we all hire fools — Congress — and the S&P just gave us all the axe 🙂

  • rustyspeidel

    Where did you find all my old marketing materials? 😉

    i agree that the advent of digital measurement means you have to start merging some skill sets. Good writing now has a home on blogs and web pages, not just releases and articles. Relationship building now happens with bloggers, news outlets, and directly with customers. I think those who feel these silos still need to be maintained are taking a huge risk, especially when it comes to simple learning or discourse. i say get in there and violate those rules!!

  • commammo

    @ginidietrich Agreed! I’d always vote for increased communication, coordination and collaboration (my 3 C’s of integration!) – if you do those things, you wind up with many of the benefits of integration without the 4th C – consolidation. We’re trying to move the business forward, whether by focusing on leads, web traffic, call center volume, depth of understanding (of the business and competition), employee engagement, etc. The measurement of this effort typically has three pieces: outputs, outtakes (aka communication objectives, such as awareness) and finally outcomes (aka business results). The value proposition lives within those three pieces.

    ;–)

  • @Lisa Gerber I run into that perception a lot. It appears that that issue may be the first one that needs to be addressed.

  • rustyspeidel

    @csalomonlee Actually, that is EXACTLY what a good salesman strives to do. The outcomes are called “sales.”

  • rustyspeidel

    @csalomonlee Actually, that is EXACTLY what a good salesman strives to do. The outcomes are called “sales.”

  • rustyspeidel

    @csalomonlee Actually, that is EXACTLY what a good salesman strives to do. The outcomes are called “sales.”

  • @Erin F.@ginidietrich no. not “may”. just admit you do. it’s the smart thing to do. 🙂 haha.

  • @HowieSPM Oh yeah; I was wondering why I woke up in my car this morning………..

  • Uhmm, hi, Everyone! I have a guest post right next door, like, right on this same platform. Maybe you might like to pop over, just in case you’re done paying homage to the Gin Blossom?

  • ScottHepburn

    @ginidietrich Stick around in this business long enough and you hear every objection…and you learn the counter-punch.

    The “Don’t get your marketing in my PR!” hue and cry is silly. It stems from competing for budgets, territorialism, and discomfort at being ill-defined (which in itself is a fear of not having control).

    There are merits to knowing exactly who you are and what you do, and having nice, neat lines. There are merits to being versatile and adaptable. I suppose it’s all a matter of what suits each pro best.

  • geoffliving

    @Ike this seems vaguely familiar… Flashback!

  • Wow, you sure know how to stir up trouble, girl!

    This reminds me of the classic Sales vs. Marketing debate. When I rule the world they will be one TEAM, like Defense/Offense is sports. Or more like Offense/Special Teams. I’ve worked in Sales, I work in Marketing, and I work WITH PR. The reality is that it’s ALL about Sales. Every member on your team should have a segment of their brain in tune with the top line.

    Why on earth anyone cares to define PR vs Marketing is beyond me; I’d rather be measuring growth than having a silly debate when obviously the information you were sharing would help just that.

  • @KenMueller@ginidietrich Okay. I’ll admit it. I do share the same line of thinking.

  • @KenMueller@ginidietrich Okay. I’ll admit. I do share the same line of thinking.

  • BGdoesPR

    Agree w/ author, PR needs solid comm foundation-incl mktg @jeffespo Public Relations vs. Marketing http://t.co/m8ihIOc via @ginidietrich #in

  • I know this will ruffle some feathers – but aren’t PR, Advertising, Sales and Customer Service all really just functions of Marketing? And shouldn’t they each be accountable for producing top and bottom line results? And you already know what to tell that guy what @jonaston says to do. 🙂

  • “Silly old bear!” Time to get with the program and blend, blend, blend.

    Lately, I really push my new clients to verbally identify goals and take it a step further by quantifying those goals into DOLLARS. That way, I can make sure my PR and Marketing efforts support those goals. If I don’t, then as you said below, when no one buys, hires or works with my client, then I will no longer have a contract. I’ve had one in particular go so far as to put a defined ROI on my efforts, to the tune of a specific dollar amount. You can bet it makes me very careful about the work I do for that client and the strategy I put into place to drive traffic to their website (yes, I use inbound marketing tactics) and their door (I also use media relations, pitches, and social media for this!).

    You really have a way with people, don’t you? 🙂

  • Pingback: Twitted by rjfrasca()

  • ginidietrich

    @commammo I like the four Cs and the measurement! You should (cough, cough) write a blog post about it (cough, cough).

  • ginidietrich

    @JonAston I don’t think that’ll ruffle any feathers her. But maybe you should say that in the Network of PR Professionals LinkedIn group?

  • ginidietrich

    @AmyMccTobin Seriously. What is wrong with me? I guess I should listen to my parents and keep my “smart mouth” shut.

    If there will be one team when you rule the world, I’m joining you!

  • ginidietrich

    @Soulati | PR LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ginidietrich

    @rustyspeidel Will you protect me while I’m violating the rules?

  • ginidietrich

    @Lisa Gerber Have you never seen that graphic? It’s one of my favorites to send family when they ask what the heck I do!

    Can we show everyone the face you made when I sent you the full email?

  • ginidietrich

    @Lisa Gerber Have you never seen that graphic? It’s one of my favorites to send family when they ask what the heck I do!

    Can we show everyone the face you made when I sent you the full email?

  • ginidietrich

    @Shad Boots But wouldn’t you rather attach yourself to sales (especially if they’re going up) than image? I would.

  • ginidietrich

    @Shad Boots But wouldn’t you rather attach yourself to sales (especially if they’re going up) than image? I would.

  • ginidietrich

    @cparente Totally agree that LI groups get spammy. But I also think he erred…either that or someone here needs to tell me I’m wrong. This is the very conversation we had in our staff meeting this morning. I asked how many of us can get away with telling clients that we increased awareness. Um. None of us.

  • ginidietrich

    @Neicolec You naive?! LOL!!

  • ginidietrich

    @Nic_Cartwright I gotta figure out how to work with you. I’ve always wanted to be a sports agent.

  • ginidietrich

    @csalomonlee I really love that you have agency and corporate experience to talk from. I think the biggest issue some of our peers face is they’ve never been accountable to a business that drives toward the bottom line. I know when I was at the big agencies, no one asked me what I was doing to grow the business. It does us a big disservice.

  • ginidietrich

    @jeremyburton I. Agree.

  • ginidietrich

    @jeremyburton I. Agree.

  • ginidietrich

    @jeremyburton I. Agree.

  • ginidietrich

    @Ike Amen x 4.

  • ginidietrich

    @Ike Amen x 4.

  • ginidietrich

    @Ike Amen x 4.

  • ginidietrich

    @glenn_ferrell This comment reminds me of the Peter’s Principle – you’re promoted to your highest level of incompetence. Maybe that’s what is going on with the turf wards and the hierarchies of professions.

  • ginidietrich

    @RickRice OMG! Such a great point about selling hours instead of expertise! We’ve been fighting that battle for six years.

  • ginidietrich

    @RickRice OMG! Such a great point about selling hours instead of expertise! We’ve been fighting that battle for six years.

  • ginidietrich

    @AlexReed “Public relations groups can and should focus on ways to become better PR professionals.” A-freaking-men.

  • ginidietrich

    @AlexReed “Public relations groups can and should focus on ways to become better PR professionals.” A-freaking-men.

  • susanoakes

    @JonAston I agree with you Jon and PR is a marketing tactic which ultimately support the strategy to achieve the objectives and that is sales. Having an objective of awareness or increased knowledge means nothing unless you then go further down to trial, repeat purchase etc. Also awareness is weak because you can have a high awareness and decreasing sales which i have experienced with a brand.

    It would be interesting to know if the guy actually conducts correct research to measure the changes in awareness, opinions, attitudes etc .

  • susanoakes

    @JonAston I agree with you Jon and PR is a marketing tactic which ultimately support the strategy to achieve the objectives and that is sales. Having an objective of awareness or increased knowledge means nothing unless you then go further down to trial, repeat purchase etc. Also awareness is weak because you can have a high awareness and decreasing sales which i have experienced with a brand.

    It would be interesting to know if the guy actually conducts correct research to measure the changes in awareness, opinions, attitudes etc .

  • ginidietrich

    @jackielamp So, let’s take the “what have you done for me lately” conversation into play here. Wouldn’t you much rather integrate publicity, communication, and marketing so clients aren’t upset about the one negative article out of the 100 that you placed and instead focused on how much you’re driving sales…or decreased costs?

  • ginidietrich

    @jackielamp So, let’s take the “what have you done for me lately” conversation into play here. Wouldn’t you much rather integrate publicity, communication, and marketing so clients aren’t upset about the one negative article out of the 100 that you placed and instead focused on how much you’re driving sales…or decreased costs?

  • ginidietrich

    @Erin F. They absolutely are sales functions. They’re harder to measure, but we all know increased brand awareness DRIVES SALES.

  • ginidietrich

    @sydcon_mktg I think your opinion is right on target. I really believe if we could break down the silos and work as one, a lot more could be accomplished. I suppose, though, that’s a leadership discussion, not a PR/marketing discussion.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM Unless, of course, you’re BP and don’t handle crisis well. In which case, you will lose sales.

  • @ginidietrich Yes, ma’am. I was thinking of my job as a shoes salesperson. I wasn’t selling the shoes; I was selling the allure of owning a particular pair of shoes. To do so, I had to change opinions, attitudes, and behaviors. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @bdorman264 If you think that makes your head hurt, you should read the entire conversation. THAT made my head hurt…and I’m not hungover.

    And you’re right… and that’s the problem with PR. We’ve NEVER measured to the bottom line. Ever. We’ve always measured by advertising equivalencies or media impressions, which is total baloney. I tell clients all the time that their name in the paper is great for brand awareness, but it’s not going to drive sales. And then we have the conversation about how they want us to spend our time. It’s typically not to build brand awareness.

  • ginidietrich

    @bryanwillmert How dare me is right! And why is it so hard to just get along?

  • ginidietrich

    @samfiorella I. Love. This.

  • ginidietrich

    @T60Productions Um. Yes.

  • ginidietrich

    @Erin F. Especially if they’re Jimmy Choos.

  • ginidietrich

    @susanoakes@JonAston AMEN!

  • ginidietrich

    @EricaAllison LMAO! I don’t know what it is – I always say either people love me or hate me. Which always gets “How can anyone hate you?” But they do.

    I really love that you push your clients to quantify their goals into dollars. We’re working with a client, right now, who wants to give us success bonuses (yay!). So he and I are having the conversation about how much a new client brings in revenue, in order to determine what a fair bonus is for us. If the client can’t quantify that, let them go find someone who doesn’t care about measuring results.

  • Ike

    @ginidietrich@glenn_ferrell No, it’s just fear.

    Fear of admitting that you aren’t the center of the communication universe.

    Fear of realizing the “dark side” might have had value all along.

    Fear your skillset will come up wanting.

    Fear that people won’t like what you’re peddling anymore.

    Fear your niche won’t exist anymore.

    Fear you’re not in as much control of your destiny as your illusion had allowed.

  • ginidietrich

    @Ike@glenn_ferrell Fear that you might have to share profits. Fear that you are disposable. Fear that someone might have a better idea than you. Fear that someone might be smarter than you.

  • @ginidietrich Not any more than I would attach myself to anything else. Image and sales are interwoven in my eyes. You can’t excel in one part without excelling in the other.

    Think of it this way: people are most persuaded by visual cues (even if it’s the least reliable of our senses). Image is a visual cue, even if it’s abstract. Who are you? What are you? Etc. People understand all of that visually.

    If you don’t have an image that the customer is attracted to, you won’t have sales.

  • @ginidietrich Not any more than I would attach myself to anything else. Image and sales are interwoven in my eyes. You can’t excel in one part without excelling in the other.

    Think of it this way: people are most persuaded by visual cues (even if it’s the least reliable of our senses). Image is a visual cue, even if it’s abstract. Who are you? What are you? Etc. People understand all of that visually.

    If you don’t have an image that the customer is attracted to, you won’t have sales.

  • @ginidietrich Not any more than I would attach myself to anything else. Image and sales are interwoven in my eyes. You can’t excel in one part without excelling in the other.

    Think of it this way: people are most persuaded by visual cues (even if it’s the least reliable of our senses). Image is a visual cue, even if it’s abstract. Who are you? What are you? Etc. People understand all of that visually.

    If you don’t have an image that the customer is attracted to, you won’t have sales.

  • @ginidietrich I gotta get a job yet…… 😉 I worked in UK sports and am going through the VISA process for the next few weeks…. (#fingersXd) …landed mid summer after world tour for past year (now THAT’s what we all should do for a living)…

    Just preparing my Tsunami of a job hunt plan – get ready….. #won’tlikemethen!!!

    Sports agents seem to be a breed that could do with your style – but I think you would be the Yang to everyone else’s Ying!!

  • Ike

    @ginidietrich@glenn_ferrell …fear that Gini is better looking than you, and better on a bike.

  • @Erin F. You’re right. PR has a few perception issues.

  • @ginidietrich You can’t charge for results unless you’re willing to measure them. That is getting easier and cheaper with technology but the people at the top of the PR world are now wondering if they can actually deliver… Not to mention, most of them haven’t spent enough time figuring out these new tools to take advantage of them.

    I’ve been sitting through these discussions of how do we stop selling hours for at least 20 years. All sorts of suggestions that haven’t worked because they wouldn’t measure.

  • @ginidietrich yes! Can we show it? We should be able to attach a photo here.

  • @RickRice @ginidietrich hmmm, that sure sounds like a good blog topic to me.

  • I don’t know who the person was that emailed you, but I’d be concerned for his or her clients.

    1. “Increased knowledge and/or awareness.” Hmm, sounds like marketing. And guess what? Leads to a sales function.

    2. “Changed opinions, attitudes and behaviour.” Hmm, sounds like marketing. And guess what? Leads to a sales function.

    See, THIS is why I prefer marketing over PR, because at least (most) marketers aren’t trying to fool themselves into thinking they’re doing something they’re not.

    As for PR? If we’re picking nits, like this person is, then it stands for Public Relations. In which case, customer service is PR. The receptionist is PR. The recruiting officer is PR. The community engagement officer is PR.

    EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE IS PR.

    Gah…

  • @Soulati | PR Are you being a comment troll???? 🙂

  • @DannyBrown Have you heard of the fast-food restaurant Pret a Manger? It takes PR to a whole new level. There was an article about it in The New York Times yesterday.

  • @DannyBrown And every place you put ‘sounds like marketing’ I could say sounds like PR / Corporate Communications. If you move to thinking about reputation from brand, it gets even more to you comment that every employee is PR because they do have the biggest impact on reputation. @Ike said it well with I am communications. Trying to stuff things into silos and pretend they don’t have an impact on the brand or reputations is just wrong. It has been wrong for a long time and getting more wrong in this brave new world.

    You marketing folks just measure it better than some of the rest of us – we need to catch up. Which is what @ginidietrich is talking about here and the idiot who replied to her wants to deny. Hopefully his retirement date is soon…

  • @Erin F. Know them, not a fan (of their food). But brand strategy? Different story. 🙂

  • @RickRice@Ike@ginidietrich Haha, the funny thing is I don’t see myself as a “marketer”, mate – just someone who uses whatever solution is needed at any given time.

    That might be marketing; comms; community management and (to some degree) PR.

    I agree – the silos are pretty much the last stumbling block for common sense. 🙂

  • @RickRice@Ike@ginidietrich Haha, the funny thing is I don’t see myself as a “marketer”, mate – just someone who uses whatever solution is needed at any given time.

    That might be marketing; comms; community management and (to some degree) PR.

    I agree – the silos are pretty much the last stumbling block for common sense. 🙂

  • FollowtheLawyer

    What a weird and unuseful orthodoxy. Sounds more like the charter of a Society for Creative Anachronism chapter than of a discussion group for business thought leaders.

  • lauraclick

    @Neicolec I’m so with you on this, Neicole. At some point, we’re just really arguing semantics here, aren’t we? I “grew up” at a traditional PR firm, that had “Communications” in the name and then we would create “marketing plans”. At the end of the day, while the two functions might have different tactics, the desired goal is the same.

  • I’m one of those crazy kids who thinks EVERYTHING a business does is marketing. (My definition:identify a customer need/want, create a product or service to meet that need/want, and consistently deliver a superior customer experience.) Every department, from HR to Finance to PR, works to fulfill that definition. Yes, one department is usually held responsible for lead generation–in some businesses, it’s sales, in others, it’s marketing. But when it comes down to it, every department should be working to generate customer value. Therefore, everyone is actually in marketing.

  • ElissaFreeman

    Good grief…WHEN will people learn that PR not only IS sales, but also drives sales? I mean, who do you think would give a better pitch – a PR pro or a marketer? (rhetorical question that!) As Director of Comms & PR for and international sporting event, when people ask me what I do, I answer: “I sell the Pan Am Games”. Why? Because there isn’t a key message that I write, a crisis plan that I developed, or an interview obtained that doesn’t push to that ultimate objective.

  • Leon

    G’Day Gini,

    You’re pretty bloody hard on yourself. I’ve worked in and around HR for over 40 years. I’ve been at odds with “conventional ” HR thinking for decades. But lots of practising managers reckon I have something worth while to say. And it’s clients I need to please.

    Have you read “The Fall of Advertising and The Rise of PR” by Al and Laura Ries? Good Stuff. I know that I’m repeating myself by saying, “marketing isn’t everything, but everything is marketing.”

    Pity some of your PR colleagues haven’t woken up to this.

    Let me close with a gem from Steve Jobs, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” So is PR, HR, and just about everything else.

    Make sure you have fun

    Regards

    Leon

  • jgwhitt

    It would be interesting to see what this looks like!

  • jgwhitt

    @ginidietrichCan I put in a request for Facebook question of the week or a blog post dedicated to this topic and geared to folks on the client side on ways one can measure agencies on sales results? There is a lot of gold here in both the post and the comments but it would be great to have more specific examples.

  • @DannyBrown My good friend has a mantra: Your every interaction with anyone is PR. If your entire company doesn’t function this way you’re goals are too low.

  • @JonAston If you were ever out on the pavement shaking hands, you’d alter that a little: “aren’t they all a function of SALES?”

    None of the above would exist without Sales, and it is all of their end goals.

  • @ginidietrich The more I get to know you the more I think you have my disease: You’re a really nice person (I swear I am too) but you can’t keep your mouth shut when something is so obviously W R O N G. 🙂

    And I love it, because I’m running into so many fabulous minds on this blog.

  • commammo

    @ginidietrich Cough, cough, great idea. Writing now… 😉

  • commammo

    @ginidietrich Cough, cough, great idea. Writing now… 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @AmyMccTobin I was on a bus going to dinner during a conference and two friends were making fun of me because I was late. Why was I late? In their words: “Someone on the Internet was wrong.” I swear I don’t have to be right about everything, but you’re right in that I can’t keep my mouth shut if I disagree so vehemently.

  • ginidietrich

    @AmyMccTobin I was on a bus going to dinner during a conference and two friends were making fun of me because I was late. Why was I late? In their words: “Someone on the Internet was wrong.” I swear I don’t have to be right about everything, but you’re right in that I can’t keep my mouth shut if I disagree so vehemently.

  • ginidietrich

    @Erin F. I’m going to find the story – I want to read it! Thanks for the tip.

  • ginidietrich

    @RickRice@DannyBrown Breaking down the silos…seems like there should be a book being written about that very idea.

  • ginidietrich

    @RickRice@DannyBrown Breaking down the silos…seems like there should be a book being written about that very idea.

  • ginidietrich

    @RickRice@DannyBrown Breaking down the silos…seems like there should be a book being written about that very idea.

  • ginidietrich

    @FollowtheLawyer Maybe it isn’t a discussion group for business thought leaders and I was mistaken.

  • ginidietrich

    @FollowtheLawyer Maybe it isn’t a discussion group for business thought leaders and I was mistaken.

  • ginidietrich

    @FollowtheLawyer Maybe it isn’t a discussion group for business thought leaders and I was mistaken.

  • ginidietrich

    @marianne.worley Um. Yes. And if you can work to break down silos and work together, I really believe marketing is at the hub of communication. Not PR, not sales, not HR, not customer service. Marketing.

  • ginidietrich

    @ElissaFreeman Apparently there is an old school way of thinking and a not so old school way of thinking. I remember the first time I had to learn how to determine media impressions. I looked at my supervisor and said, “Really?” And this was in the late 90s at a global agency. Until we figure out how to measure our work and admit we are part of sales, we’re not going to get very far.

  • ginidietrich

    @Leon I am hard on myself. You’re right. But look at what a great discussion it leads to! And yes…I love anything written by the Ries’. I read that book many times. Are you having fun?

  • ginidietrich

    @Leon I am hard on myself. You’re right. But look at what a great discussion it leads to! And yes…I love anything written by the Ries’. I read that book many times. Are you having fun?

  • ginidietrich

    @jgwhitt Sure! If you want it to be a Facebook question of the week, though, you have to go leave it on our wall (http://facebook.com/armentdietrich). 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @jgwhitt Sure! If you want it to be a Facebook question of the week, though, you have to go leave it on our wall (http://facebook.com/armentdietrich). 🙂

  • lauraclick

    All I can say is that this is incredibly short-sided. Like I mentioned in another comment, it all becomes semantics at some point. Whatever you think the relation is between PR and marketing, one thing is for sure – they ARE related. To say otherwise would be like saying that cousin you despise is not your relative.

    I’m a rule-follower too. And, I probably would have done exactly what you did, Gini. It’s just too bad you felt the need to apologize for educating an industry that so desperately needs it. It just amazes me that traditional PR seems to be so far behind in this age of digital marketing. One would think they would be the first to be on board with it. Sigh.

  • ginidietrich

    @lauraclick One would think, but people are people and change sucks. I look at this just like I do with all the business leaders I counsel: They think digital anything is for their kids. And soon they’ll be extinct.

  • Riff_Raff

    I could not agree with you more. PR is evolving and today’s PR professionals need to be equipped with a suite of skills that cover many different facets of the marketing mix. Additionally, for most campaigns regardless of the medium and approach the ultimate goal for clients is increasing sales and it is naive to think otherwise.

  • CondoBaker

    @ginidietrich i would like to bring my concept to Chicago

  • CondoBaker

    @ginidietrich i would like to bring my concept to Chicago

  • ginidietrich

    @DannyBrown@Soulati | PR I don’t know why she thought she needed to troll for comments. She has something like 85 over there.

  • ginidietrich

    @Ike@glenn_ferrell THAT is a very real fear.

  • ginidietrich

    @Riff_Raff Amen!

  • ginidietrich

    @elissapr Oops. I’m not THAT edgy.

  • ginidietrich

    @CondoBaker I would love your concept in Chicago!

  • Pingback: Paid Advertising Equivalents, Public Relations, Marketing and Measuring Success | Jaggers Communications: Change the Conversation()

  • ginidietrich

    @chillygal Thanks for the tweets this morning!

  • ginidietrich

    @chillygal Thanks for the tweets this morning!

  • ginidietrich

    @chillygal Thanks for the tweets this morning!

  • CondoBaker

    @ginidietrich Wonderful, can i crash on your couch… lol

  • jgwhitt

    @ginidietrich Gladly!

  • So late on this one G’ but I love this subject, and your forward thinking of where the PR industry needs to be is incredibly refreshing and spot-on. Anyone that thinks producing content doesn’t really relate to sales (nor should) is bonkers in my opinion.

    Keep rockin,

    Marcus

  • So late on this one G’ but I love this subject, and your forward thinking of where the PR industry needs to be is incredibly refreshing and spot-on. Anyone that thinks producing content doesn’t really relate to sales (nor should) is bonkers in my opinion.

    Keep rockin,

    Marcus

  • kathleen.rabil

    @ginidietrich Gini, I look at change a little differently. I see it as a new opportunity. That being said, as a traditional marketer, I see alot of overlap between marketing and PR. As we’ve moved into social media, I see the need for both sets of skills to do well.

  • kathleen.rabil

    @ginidietrich@lauraclick Gini, I look at change a little differently. I see it as a new opportunity. That being said, as a traditional marketer, I see alot of overlap between marketing and PR. As we’ve moved into social media, I see the need for both sets of skills to do well.

  • What’s the old saw? If your mother doesn’t understand what you do for a living, you probably work in public relations? It seems like even people in PR don’t understand PR any more, and that whether you like it or not, PR has changed. I think it’s pretty funny that you were called out for “breaking the rules,” when the rules have changed and there are people who just will not acknowledge that. Yes, they will become extinct — I agree with you — but it does seem, sometimes, like it is taking ages for that to happen. I guess that’s evolution for you. 🙂

  • Dude, you published me half a day late. I had to catch up and get some attention. Ahem, we’re over 100 now; that makes me happy! @ginidietrich @DannyBrown

  • @ElissaFreeman

    Hmm. It seems @ginidietrich was saying PR should take lessons from marketing (measurement) while you’re saying the opposite. I’ve heard both recently–here, at @Soulati | PR ‘s, and elsewhere. Looks like certain minds are sure the two will probably merge either at the head or the hip at some point–or both.

  • @susanoakes@JonAston

    I think the two of you said what I wasn’t willing to say because I don’t know enough (yet) about PR to say it! Makes sense to me, too, thank you.

  • @AmyMccTobin@ginidietrich I’m usually a nice person, too, until I encounter shoddy writing or someone saying something completely wrong about marketing or PR. I’m not very nice then. 🙂

  • @ginidietrich@DannyBrown Here’s the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/business/pret-a-manger-with-new-fast-food-ideas-gains-a-foothold-in-united-states.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&smid=fb-nytimes. I thought it was an interesting article. I have nothing to say about the food since I’ve never had the opportunity to try it. 🙂

  • jackielamp

    @ginidietrich You just HAD to bring up the “what have you done for me lately” conversation, huh? Haha 😉 But yes, actually, the integrated approach has been our exact response to that. Because then they can’t focus on the one negative article out of 100. They have no legs to stand on if we’re doing something lately all on all fronts–publicity, communication, and marketing. Hell, I will go out there and be part of your street team if that’s what it takes.

    Booyah, clients!

  • Corianda

    Maybe I’m a youngin’, but I think the smart people I’m graduating with and I are taught increasingly that PR and Marketing and Social Media and (gasp) Advertising are blurring together. I’m not naive enough to think it’s all hunky dory, but it seems common sense. To run a business of any type, all of your goals and messages need to be aligned. That’s just good branding.

    Personally, I don’t want to go into “traditional” PR. I want to be engaged in a cohesive and integrated environment, and I feel a lot of people my age feel the same. Do we get to determine the “future” of PR?

  • Corianda

    Maybe I’m a youngin’, but I think the smart people I’m graduating with and I are taught increasingly that PR and Marketing and Social Media and (gasp) Advertising are blurring together. I’m not naive enough to think it’s all hunky dory, but it seems common sense. To run a business of any type, all of your goals and messages need to be aligned. That’s just good branding.

    Personally, I don’t want to go into “traditional” PR. I want to be engaged in a cohesive and integrated environment, and I feel a lot of people my age feel the same. Do we get to determine the “future” of PR?

  • Corianda

    Maybe I’m a youngin’, but I think the smart people I’m graduating with and I are taught increasingly that PR and Marketing and Social Media and (gasp) Advertising are blurring together. I’m not naive enough to think it’s all hunky dory, but it seems common sense. To run a business of any type, all of your goals and messages need to be aligned. That’s just good branding.

    Personally, I don’t want to go into “traditional” PR. I want to be engaged in a cohesive and integrated environment, and I feel a lot of people my age feel the same. Do we get to determine the “future” of PR?

  • Whoever keeps score controls the budget. That’s the future.

  • BobReed

    Bravo, Gini! In my mind, the activities we undertake is to make something happen. There has to be a business outcome. And most of the time it is to help a company increase its sales. Unfortunately, traditional PR, or what some people still mistakenly think of as only media relations, may not accomplish a set objective. As you relayed once about your time working for Ocean Spray, a book of clips did not mean a corresponding increase in sales.

  • kamichat

    Holy cow!

    “An ideal PR objective specifies desired outcomes within target publics, such as increased knowledge and/or awareness, or changed opinions, attitudes, and behavior.”

    What about Outcomes or Actions? The trifecta is Outputs, Outtakes and Outcomes. Outcomes are results, KPIs and business results. This change in “behavior” he talks about is that people would DO something different, like buy a product they didn’t before, or buy a ticket and attend an event, or make a donation to a nonprofit. These are “sales” by another name.

    Here is the academic research if you need it from the Institute of PR (http://ow.ly/5YVS6).

    This is one misguided soul, what I call a “measurement naysayer.” He better get with it or retire soon. You don’t even have to believe in blended marketing and PR to see that RESULTS are the end goal.

    As for you, you are a rulebreaker, get used to it!

  • @ginidietrich@bdorman264 I’d like to be a fly on the wall, see the NEXT part of that conversation. I’ve tried the “publicity is great but it’s not always gonna make the phone ring” speech w/ mixed results; there’s work well past the thud book and sometimes, clients don’t understand or want to invest in that.

  • @ginidietrich@marianne.worley I’ve liked bombed enough and this looks like as good as place as any to jump in w/ my thoughts. It’s PR, it’s Marketing .. and it’s all Communications. A business is not in business – not selling or hiring, not getting investors or support, not reaching vendors and customers – without communication. See also @DannyBrown .

    The accountant communicates numbers, the desk clerk can set a tone, the janitor or ride operator at Disney World communicates not just a clean environment but genuine brand messages. They’re well trained to do more than just give directions, they interact w/ people, trade pins and ‘communicate’ that you are their guest, not just a customer. All of which IMO is about making me a happy and loyal guest, one that’s eager to return (sales). FWIW.

  • kamichat

    @Corianda You do! Take out the dinosaurs.

  • kamichat

    @Corianda You do! Take out the dinosaurs.

  • RickCaffeinated

    My itch lately is to say to the PR people, “it’s not JUST PR”. And to the marketing people, “it’s not JUST marketing” – where’s the holistic approach like you’ve got above?

  • commammo

    One more thing: Effective measurement programs touch outputs, outcomes and business results — and some activities will more directly correlate to sales than others. In Marketing, we typically prioritize according to the strength of that correlation. In PR, we have other constituencies intrinsic to our ability to be in business that we must build relationships among. We, therefore, cannot prioritize according only to correlation to sales.

  • commammo

    @ginidietrich@marianne.worley I’d agree with you if I had more confidence in the overall communication ability of marketers. (some of my best friends are marketers, cue grin…) Too many marketers are one-way focused, however. We see that in PR too, but by my count, we’re better at understanding the multi-stakeholder environment than marketers traditionally have been. If you see every tool as a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  • commammo

    @ginidietrich@marianne.worley I’d agree with you if I had more confidence in the overall communication ability of marketers. (some of my best friends are marketers, cue grin…) Too many marketers are one-way focused, however. We see that in PR too, but by my count, we’re better at understanding the multi-stakeholder environment than marketers traditionally have been. If you see every tool as a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  • dialoguedivaray

    There’s so much we can learn from each other – I have always been an advocate of integration because it all starts with the brand. If we don’t understand what drives preference and affinity (and frankly purchase) then everything we do is for nothing anyways. I’m glad you tried to change this person’s mind – and don’t stop. We all need to keep pushing ahead!

  • mdbarber

    As always, an interesting post and even more interesting discussion happening here. I’m going to have to disagree with you though, my friend. Not because I think you’re incorrect — in some cases and with some public relations programs — but because I don’t believe this can be an absolute statement.

    Organizations who conduct public relations to, say, increase awareness about an issue to help them change a law, will not be measuring the program based on sales. Instead the successful passage of legislation.

    I recently worked with an organization trying to improve their stakeholder’s health and well being. Participation in the event I helped them with was only one way they were measuring the changes i their stakeholder’s health.

    I don’t agree, as you know, with the guy who said you can’t post within his group because your posts are about inbound sales. However, I think we always have to be careful with absolutes.

    Each organization needs to put the public relations function within its structure where it makes the most sense. Further, I believe there will always be overlap but I don’t think public relations should be part of marketing, even in large companies. They should work with marketing…human resources… advertising…and whatever other departments are making internal and external decisions within a company.

    As PR pros we do need to adapt. We do need to be aware of the changing communications landscape. We need to work with other departments. It’s also true that the other communications/marketing professionals need to understand what today’s public relations professional brings to the party as well.

    Thanks for making me think my friend!

  • @commammo@ginidietrich I agree that too many marketers are still trying to force feed one-way communications to their prospects and customers. What we’re seeing now is that the most talented marketers are skilled at simultaneous, multi-directional, multi-media communications.

  • kamichat

    @mdbarber Agree that there are other measures. The problem here is that the objector completely dismissed that sales could be one of them. THAT is the issue.

  • BobReed

    @kamichat@mdbarber Precisely! It goes back to what I said earlier. Not all business outcomes using PR are necessarily tied to sales, but a lot of them are.

  • sidranaseer

    @ginidietrich @spinsucks I wish professors wouldn’t “mesh” PR & Marketing together… both are two separate fields that rely on each other.

  • ginidietrich

    @JodiEchakowitz Just like business leaders

  • KelleeMagee

    @amymcctobin Amen to that: I ‘met’ *you* through SpinSucks!

  • KelleeMagee

    @amymcctobin Amen to that: I ‘met’ *you* through SpinSucks!

  • AmyMccTobin

    @KelleeMagee Awe! And I wasn’t even doing a vanity Tweet. 🙂

  • AmyMccTobin

    @KelleeMagee Aren’t you on G+? I’m at: http://t.co/PMc6QlT

  • ginidietrich

    @sidranaseer I don’t agree. I think they’re blending even more now than before.

  • ginidietrich

    @AmyMccTobin or…the crazy minds

  • AmyMccTobin

    @ginidietrich Give me CRAZY over CLOSED anytime.

  • rickysalsberry

    @paigeworthy Aren’t they both complete bullshit?

  • JodiEchakowitz

    @ginidietrich No kidding! Sad but so true 🙁

  • KelleeMagee

    @amymcctobin I feel like I looked for you a while back and couldn’t find you. Consider yourself circled, multiple times ;>

  • paigeworthy

    @rickysalsberry Um, I hope not…I do work in both and think it can be meaningful.

  • AmyMccTobin

    @KelleeMagee Ha. I disappeared somehow. I stayed in everyone’s Circles but mine were gone & I had to rebuild. I can’t find YOU now.

  • AmyMccTobin

    @ginidietrich Go over to my G+ post http://t.co/PMc6QlT, I used @spinsucks as an example of engagement & guess what I got? Engmt

  • KelleeMagee

    @amymcctobin ASK YOURSELF: what did you do to anger the GooGods? :> I think I’m here: http://www.gplus.to/Kellee

  • ginidietrich

    @AmyMccTobin Me too!

  • rickysalsberry

    @paigeworthy I thought you were a writer

  • paigeworthy

    @rickysalsberry What the heck do you think I write?

  • rickysalsberry

    @paigeworthy Words! yay

  • rickysalsberry

    @paigeworthy After working in marketing I view it as the devil. And PR, well, just seems like the devil. Hiss. Also, SEO.

  • paigeworthy

    @rickysalsberry SEO, boo. But the other two, if done by genuine people who believe in their clients’ biz, can be great.

  • Oh Gini, sorry to here about the contentions you have faced–but look at this great post you got out of it! Your viewpoint on this, on integration, seems obvious to me. Of course once your messaging becomes interactive, and when sales can happen online (or even without this characteristic), you have a pretty clear view of what activities are generating what revenues. I feel there are groups that still want to maintain the division between PR and marketing for kind of academic purposes, or because integration, at first, produces something with no visible shape to it, which is difficult to manage of course. I have some sympathy for this, but rather in the way I have sympathy for a child shivering with fear on a diving board. You are going to have to go for it at some point.

  • Oh Gini, sorry to here about the contentions you have faced–but look at this great post you got out of it! Your viewpoint on this, on integration, seems obvious to me. Of course once your messaging becomes interactive, and when sales can happen online (or even without this characteristic), you have a pretty clear view of what activities are generating what revenues. I feel there are groups that still want to maintain the division between PR and marketing for kind of academic purposes, or because integration, at first, produces something with no visible shape to it, which is difficult to manage of course. I have some sympathy for this, but rather in the way I have sympathy for a child shivering with fear on a diving board. You are going to have to go for it at some point.

  • Oh Gini, sorry to hear about the contentions you have faced–but look at this great post you got out of it! Your viewpoint on this, on integration, seems obvious to me. Of course once your messaging becomes interactive, and when sales can happen online (or even without this characteristic), you have a pretty clear view of what activities are generating what revenues. I feel there are groups that still want to maintain the division between PR and marketing for kind of academic purposes, or because integration, at first, produces something with no visible shape to it, which is difficult to manage of course. I have some sympathy for this, but rather in the way I have sympathy for a child shivering with fear on a diving board. You are going to have to go for it at some point.

  • Oh Gini, sorry to hear about the contentions you have faced–but look at this great post you got out of it! Your viewpoint on this, on integration, seems obvious to me. Of course once your messaging becomes interactive, and when sales can happen online (or even without this characteristic), you have a pretty clear view of what activities are generating what revenues. I feel there are groups that still want to maintain the division between PR and marketing for kind of academic purposes, or because integration, at first, produces something with no visible shape to it, which is difficult to manage of course. I have some sympathy for this, but rather in the way I have sympathy for a child shivering with fear on a diving board. You are going to have to go for it at some point.

  • kirthis_s

    very smart piece, @jeffespo. Should generate a good buzz amongst PR and marketers. Public Relations vs. Marketing http://t.co/4EFURHH

  • mdbarber

    @kamichat And I completely agree that it can be one of the measures. And that the person who sent the message needs to open his eyes and ears to current public relations. Where I diverge is that sales is the ultimate measure and the PR belongs in marketing. It does sometimes and not in others.

  • mdbarber

    @kamichat And I completely agree that it can be one of the measures. And that the person who sent the message needs to open his eyes and ears to current public relations. Where I diverge is that sales is the ultimate measure and the PR belongs in marketing. It does sometimes and not in others.

  • mdbarber

    @kamichat And I completely agree that it can be one of the measures. And that the person who sent the message needs to open his eyes and ears to current public relations. Where I diverge is that sales is the ultimate measure and the PR belongs in marketing. It does sometimes and not in others.

  • ginidietrich

    @EricTienken I think #fail too!

  • @ginidietrich@Soulati | PR Seriously, LOL 🙂

  • Pingback: Doktor Spinn’s Daily PR Links | DOKTOR SPINN()

  • Pingback: The 4-hour body of lies - Expat Life Coach()

  • While I was researching PR firms to build a relationship with at my last company there was a blend of traditional (we will stand in your trade show booth and have a buge media tour around the world!) and those that are more in your camp (we want to build infographics and whitepapers and a social strategy that targets key media and influencers to generate leads/demand). We chose the latter. A few years ago I asked a close friend who is a founder of a PR agency here in Boston howw he saw his responsibilities as the PR firm evolving with the emergence of social media and content marketing and he said ‘not much, that’s marketing’s job.’ Fast forward 2 years and his firm is pitching theiir great writing skills, ability to ‘take over’ content marketing for clients and building, managing and running social media campaigns. Those PR pros still using terms like ‘media tour’ ‘analyst tour’ ‘clip book’ are going to be a thing of the past soon enough.

  • I just recommended your blog to a colleague, @ginidietrich . Do you know why? Because we were talking about best ways to pitch/approach clients and my colleague and I agreed that PR pros need to be strategic counselors, not awareness drivers who hope and pray we make it to our next destination before we run out of gas. The latter is not good enough. I learned that here, which is why I come back.

    Traditional PR metrics are a bunch of what ifs, maybes and gee I hope so’s. As I recently heard donbart say (paraphrasing): If you took stats, you know that multiplying all those what ifs, maybes and gee I hope so’s together means there is a small probability that what you wanted to have happen really happened.

    For today’s PR pros, that measurement approach is just not good enough. End of story.

  • kdpaine

    Does anyone believe that the average customer has a clue about whether the impetus that compelled them to buy something comes from a paid ad, an “owned” Facebook page or an “earned’ story in USA Today? Can we get it into our heads that stakeholders are what matters, and they don’t care what we call what we do. Ultimately, the CEO, CMO, COO, Board or whoever signs your paycheck, cares that you have a tangible impact on the stakeholder. Whatever your organization, and whatever your department, you should spend your working days supporting activities that have a positive impact on the health of the organization. So whether its gettting him/her to support a cause, defend a brand, or knock on the show room door — we need to measure how we contribute to that end result. NOT because it will justify our existance, but because we need to understand which of the many actions we are take have the biggest impact on the results for the least cost.

  • InterviewIQ

    @ervinjuresa @ginidietrich Thank you for the kind RT…

  • @kdpaine Couldn’t agree more. Customers care about one thing…their brand experience. That’s it. And that fact alone is a strong argument for one-to-one engagement via social media or offline. Because those interactions create the stories people tell about brands.

  • ginidietrich

    @kdpaine A-freaking-men! Next time someone debates me over the 15 percent of a blog post he didn’t like, I’m sending him to you!

    (thanks for stopping by – I’m a big, big fan of yours!)

  • ginidietrich

    @JGoldsborough And here I thought it was because of my looks and charm.

  • ginidietrich

    @C_Pappas I think it’ll take longer than we think for those agencies/pros to die. There are still plenty of companies who want media impressions and advertising equivalencies. We fired a client last year because they kept asking for those kinds of measurement. Internally we debated it – why not give them what they want? But I couldn’t do it. It was making me nuts.

  • ginidietrich

    @RyoatCision After I got his last word email, I thought, “Don’t get angry. This is a GREAT blog post!”

  • ginidietrich

    @mdbarber We actually agree, Mary. I was pointing out solely that he dismissed completely that sales can be a measurement of what we do. And I agree that PR works with marketing and sales and HR and customer service and accounting and leadership.

  • ginidietrich

    @Marcus_Sheridan And anyone who thinks content can’t produce sales is bonkers.

  • ginidietrich

    @Marcus_Sheridan And anyone who thinks content can’t produce sales is bonkers.

  • ginidietrich

    @Marcus_Sheridan And anyone who thinks content can’t produce sales is bonkers.

  • ginidietrich

    @Marijean Oh I went back and looked. And there ARE rules written for this group. And they very clearly say no mention of sales. So I definitely broke them. I’m a rule breaker!

  • ginidietrich

    @Marijean Oh I went back and looked. And there ARE rules written for this group. And they very clearly say no mention of sales. So I definitely broke them. I’m a rule breaker!

  • ginidietrich

    @Marijean Oh I went back and looked. And there ARE rules written for this group. And they very clearly say no mention of sales. So I definitely broke them. I’m a rule breaker!

  • ginidietrich

    @Corianda You absolutely get to determine the future of PR! I only hope you find a place to work that will let you talk about all the great integration we’re seeing and how to make it feasible.

  • ginidietrich

    @Corianda You absolutely get to determine the future of PR! I only hope you find a place to work that will let you talk about all the great integration we’re seeing and how to make it feasible.

  • ginidietrich

    @JayBaer Say more about that, Jay. Keeps score in terms of… ?

  • ginidietrich

    @JayBaer Say more about that, Jay. Keeps score in terms of… ?

  • ginidietrich

    @BobReed Exactly! From our perspective, that was such a huge success. We did everything right. The entire world wrote about the new juice. And sales were down.

  • ginidietrich

    @kamichat I’m willing to bet he doesn’t even know what KPI means.

  • ginidietrich

    @RickCaffeinated Thank you!

  • ginidietrich

    @commammo Sure, you’re absolutely right. And, like I said to mary deming barber , my point of the post really was to dismiss the idea that PR cannot drive sales, according to the objector.

  • ginidietrich

    @dialoguedivaray I’m with you – I’d much rather actually have conversations with my colleagues to understand how we can work together to drive the health of the business.

  • @ginidietrich Financial impact (ideally) of anything related to Marcom, and if not financial, than other success metrics (like correlation studies) that prove effectiveness.

  • @ginidietrich@Corianda Here’s my concern, and it ties in with your other post about the President and communications. Is the system so broke that it can’t be fixed? As I commented over there, a lot of young folks, well intentioned, get in to politics to make a difference and to make “change”. Yet when they get there, they find they can’t do what they want and they start compromising, little by little, until they match the status quo, and the only way they can stay in office is to maintain the status quo.

    I just saw a great group of seniors in both marketing and communications graduate from the class I taught at Messiah College. They gave me hope. But then I think…well, they are going off to entry level jobs where they have little say. they have to do what they are told. How do you maintain that enthusiasm and idealism and principles? Once you are a part of the system it is hard to change back.

    I’m not saying it can’t be done, because clearly there are those of us who care, but most of that is on the indie, boutique level, not the major agency/corporate level.

    I hope I’m wrong. I really do. But it just means this will take a really long time to fix.

  • mdbarber

    @ginidietrich@commammo So true. PR can drive sales…and behavior change and more. And…the dude who told you it can’t…well…his head’s in the sand.

  • mdbarber

    @ginidietrich That’s a relief! 😉 Seriously, though I think that guy was a dweeb. I hate when we try to fit things into small holes based on our own experience without looking at what we can learn from others. Sorry I misunderstood the post.

  • mdbarber

    @ginidietrich That’s a relief! 😉 Seriously, though I think that guy was a dweeb. I hate when we try to fit things into small holes based on our own experience without looking at what we can learn from others. Sorry I misunderstood the post.

  • @kdpaine Amen!

  • MSchechter

    Amazing how often “the rules” are “the thing” that prevents progress. Any industry that isn’t take a hard look at itself right now is lost. Any industry that has rules that prohibit evolution and progress need people like you to take those rules and unceremoniously break them.

  • @kdpaine amen to the third power! Cue the choir!

  • @kdpaine amen to the third power! Cue the choir!

  • @kdpaine amen to the third power! Cue the choir!

  • KirkHazlett

    Thanks for this post. You hit all the pertinent points…directly! Will be sharing with my PR students!

  • ginidietrich

    @KirkHazlett Thank you! And thanks for saying you’re going to share with your students. It’s a goal of mine to get a book into the curriculum. Baby steps.

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter Aren’t rules made to be broken?

  • KirkHazlett

    @ginidietrich

    Let me know when you do…I’ll be at the front of the line to adopt for classes!

  • KamaTimbrell

    When I hear someone say PR isn’t marketing, I have to wonder if they’ve never heard of the 4 P’s of Marketing. I thought everyone in PR/Marketing had.

  • ginidietrich

    @KamaTimbrell And yet…

  • MSchechter

    @ginidietrich That’s always been my experience with them 🙂

  • @MSchechter@ginidietrich I’m not selling to YOU.

  • MSchechter

    @DannyBrown@ginidietrich I know, I’m still waiting for your email response about 6 months later 🙂

  • MSchechter

    @DannyBrown@ginidietrich I know, I’m still waiting for your email response about 6 months later 🙂

  • @MSchechter@ginidietrich Huh?

  • MSchechter

    @DannyBrown@ginidietrich Giving you crap for ignoring me as usual 🙂

  • Pingback: Marketing, PR, Sales Silos Need to Break Down @frank_strong | Spin Sucks()

  • Pingback: Skillsets Every PR Pro Needs – The Buzz Bin()

  • Pingback: Six Skills Every PR Pro Needs | Spin Sucks()

  • Pingback: Top 10 Guest Blog Posts of the First Half of 2012 by @lisagerber | Spin Sucks()

  • Pingback: Create Content That Makes the Web Work for You()

  • Pingback: Sales? PR doesn’t do sales! Or marketing. | Sword and the Script()

66 Shares
Tweet1
Buffer
Share4
Share1
+160
Pin
[postmatic_subscribe_widget]
[postmatic_subscribe_widget]