Welcome back to another Ask Me Anything, a weekly series where we talk to our friends, our viewers, and our community about all of their pressing needs, questions, wants, and desires.

Let’s take a look at the mailbag to see which questions are burning this week:

What’s the difference between a director of communications and a director of PR?

It’s been a hot minute—work has been crazy busy and, by Thursday night the past couple of weeks, I’ve been E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D so I have skipped my weekly AMA.

But I’m back! And, in the video, show off my non-pandemic haircut!

Director of Communications vs Director of PR

In a perfect world, they would be one and the same because PR is communications. Communications is PR. But we have this little brand awareness issue in the industry where most people think that PR is media relations or publicity. Sometimes they think it’s party planning. But typically they relate PR to publicity or media relations.

Personally, I think they are the same thing—and it’s much wider than media relations or publicity.

But if you’re looking for a new job or hiring for a role or creating a job description, most will put media relations under the director of PR role and the director of communications will tend to be a little more well-rounded.

A director of communications does internal or employee comms, reputation management, corporate comms, and investor and analyst relations.

As the business world sees it, the director of PR is the keeper of brand awareness and the director of communications is the keeper of reputation.

Someday we’ll get to the point where everybody relates PR and communications as the same—a well-rounded, integrated professional who protects the brand and its reputation while driving significant revenue for the business.

Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. Yet.

Have a Question?

If there is a topic you’d like us to cover, industry trends you’ve heard about but don’t understand, or a question you are embarrassed to ask but know we will be happy to answer let us know!

You can drop it in the comments below, DM us on social or in the Spin Sucks Community, or send an email.

You can also stop by my house with a bottle of wine, but we can’t sit out on the porch and drink. It’s too cold. You’ll have to wait for that part until spring.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich