Yesterday Stephanie Booth asked me this very good question, so I thought to share it on my blog together with my answer because for sure I’m not the only one that might find it interesting
Yep Stephanie, I guess you are not the only one sitting on that fuzzy line. This is a really good discussion topic on which I could spend hours talking / writing about but I’ll try to make it short and leave space for what you / readers / subscribers think about it.
Let’s start by saying that if you ask what marketing is from 100 different persons, you’ll get 100 different answers. In few words we could say that the marketing process focuses on certain key-factors to sell/provide a product/idea/service able to satisfy consumer needs. Heh… of course by key-factors I don’t refer just to the ‘classic’ 4Ps of our marketing mix… marketing is much more than this… just think about the ‘conversation’ itself and about how relevant factor it is in this many-to-many era. Public relations on the other hand focuses more on the information flow between the organization and the consumers.
But why it’s becoming more difficult to catch this distinction? In my opinion it’s because the environment in which we are moving is in continuing evolution, and to keep being ‘effective’ marketing and PR have to change and evolve too. “The only constant is change” that’s why sometimes the line that separates marketing and PR might appear blurred.
One of the most interesting things about this time we are living in is that the change is not just in ‘the’ environment but also in ‘who’ populates it. Think about consumers and about how they are changing into prosumers (producers and consumers at the same time…). Right now I’m reading ‘Join the conversation‘ a great book written by Joseph Jaffe that I will review (@Joseph: Thanks again for sending me a copy) here on my blog and on my media channel too. In the 5th chapter Joseph talks exactly about this shifting, and he shares a nice chart created by David Armano (author of Logic+Emotion, another great blog to which you should subscribe instantly if you didn’t do it yet).
Having a look at this chart, and keeping in it in mind, will certainly help you in understanding how delicate are becoming the roles of marketing and PR in this digital environment. So I think that although marketing and PR have different nature.. they are in a sense interconnected and nowadays closer than ever before.
@Stephanie: I hope this post answered (at least in part) to your question. Let me know…
How would you answer to Stephanie’s question? What’s your take on this topic? Feel free to share your thoughts here on the blog or also via Twitter, Jaiku, Seesmic, Friendfeedâ€¦
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