Are Marketing & PR Converging?

9 years ago by in Marketing & Communication Tagged: , ,

In a recent discussion on The Association of Strategic Marketing (a LinkedIn group), the following statement was made:

[…] The convergence of marketing and PR – what are the implications? The emergence and rapid evolution of digital media channels is driving a convergence of marketing and public relations. I call it a paradigm shift.

While marketers have traditionally been engaged in one-way communication with prospects and customers with an eye primarily on branding and revenue generation, PR professionals were involved in more of a dialogue with stakeholders such as the media and investors, building and safeguarding the company’s corporate reputation. The evolving Web channels are increasingly blurring these distinctions.

Companies are responding by merging these functions – IBM did this not long ago. Do you recognize this convergence trend as well, and how do you see it impacting your position and career? […]

Well, I hate to be finicky about this, but the rapidly evolving online media have only blurred the lines between marcom and PR – not between marketing & PR. Over the past decades, the essence of marketing has not changed. Marketing is still in the business of (1) lowering the cost of acquisition, (2) accelerating sales, and (3) creating new profit streams. Social media did not change this. Social media have (only) provided us with new ways to communicate. So naturally they are influencing the way marcom and PR are practiced.

In my opinion, marketing communications and PR continue to be separate skills. But social media have made the need, for these two disciplines to be completely in sync with each other, more evident.


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