From The Rock

PR and other communication disciplines can and should coexist.

By | November 04, 2020

I love public relations. And, I feel fortunate to do what I love and love what I do! What I appreciate even more, however, is the communications industry overall – and all of its respective disciplines. While I’ve solely practiced PR for the last 4 ½ years, I cut my proverbial teeth working at a full-service marketing and advertising agency for seven years. So, I’ve had the opportunity to view our industry through multiple lenses.  

I am often asked, “What is public relations?” to which I normally reply with something along the lines of, “I get to share stories for a living.” This response usually opens the door to a healthy dialogue and glimpse into what makes PR so special. In that same vein, I’ve been asked, “Aren’t public relations and marketing one in the same?” That too lends itself to an intriguing discussion. Public relations and marketing are not the same. They are two uniquely different disciplines. But, I firmly believe PR, marketing and related communication disciplines should coexist. And, this coexistence has never been more important as it is right now. Here are a few reasons why:

Complement 

PR and other communication disciplines are like lifelong friends who may not see each other all the time – and that’s OK – but when they come together, magic can happen. The communications industry is vast enough for all disciplines to effectively “own” their space and simultaneously have room to support their cohorts. In other words, the more [amazingly creative, dynamic and results-generating ideas], the merrier. 

Respect 

While PR is unique to all facets of storytelling, we often apply marketing strategies and tactics to our approach to help amplify efforts. Our job is to meet and exceed client needs, and we explore the necessary avenues to do that. Whether it be traditional advertising, direct mail marketing or a grassroots campaign, we respect how each of these communication avenues fit (and play an important role) into the big picture. 

Enhance
As we’ve heard many times over the last seven to eight months, “we’re stronger together.” And, this directly applies to all of us who live, breathe and professionally practice within the communications industry. When our disciplines work in sync, our results can only be made better. 

So yes, public relations, marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing and everything in between (including new terms that I may not have even heard of yet) are very different. But it’s a difference that we, as communications professionals, should appreciate and embrace.