Sword and the Script

Why We Can’t Just be PR Pros Anymore



by Frank Strong

Why-we-cant-just-be-PRs-anymore

Have you heard of Moz, the company formerly known as SEOMoz?  It’s a marketing vendor that is pretty unique in several respects.

The company is rare among vendors in that it’s genuinely interested in solving marketers’ problems. Moz has great products some of which are free. It’s a vendor that does a lot of good for the marketing community at large.  Finally, Moz is really strategic about it’s marketing.

It amazes me the company hasn’t long been acquired for a premium price.

Moz has long appealed to SEOs.  In many ways this has pigeon-holed the company into that corner of the market, and in my opinion, prevents it from penetrating the larger marketing landscape.  This despite the fact it’s products are quite useful to a range of marketing functions, including PR. Read More…

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PR defined: PR is about third-party validation


PR defined  PR is about third party validation

A rather unfortunate license plate for third party validation.

by Frank Strong

Nothing you say about yourself will have as much impact as someone else saying it on your behalf;  that approaches a definition.

Having just anyone say something on your behalf, won’t carry as much weight as having the right people say it on your behalf; that approaches strategy.

We’ve got to get over the first hurdle if as an industry we’ll ever tackle the next one;  that is a fact.

The definition of PR is controversial in many circles.  In other’s it’s not.

It’s not my intent to rehash the debate.  I’ve done that already here and here and more importantly, long before the debate ensued, here.   You can put lipstick on a pig, but you risk becoming the next pink slime:  an idea communicated so elegantly, that no matter the facts, it the power of the message cannot be overcome. Read More…

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The essence of the PR’s drama



“Art is why I get up in the morning; my definition ends there. You know it doesn’t seem fair, that I’m living for something I can’t even define. And there you are right there, in the mean time.” Ani DiFranco

def·i·ni·tion:  a : a statement expressing the essential nature of something Merriam-Webster

Ask 10 PR professionals to define public relations, you’ll likely get 10 different responses.  Ten different responses can only mean the essence is not known.  If the essence of PR is unknown, then like silence in a crisis, the function and industry will continue to be defined for us.  

There’s an acute problem with the unknown:  It is impossible to present a consistent and cohesive value proposition around a function that we cannot define.  

This is the motivation behind PRSA’s well-intended attempt to tackle the definition of PR. However, the resulting PR definitions have left much to be desired. They are not suitable PR definitions. While there’s several discussions aimed at improving these definitions, I think there’s a subconscious catalyst for how we arrived here:  an aversion to PR’s history and lineage of propaganda.   Read More…

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Marketing more like PR: Conversation relations (Part III)


marketing looks more like PR

Photo: Baltimore Harbor

by Frank Strong

Note:  This is the third and final post in a series on howSocial media is making marketing more like PR. This series is an effort to reflect and expand on earlier thoughts on why marketing looks more like PR.  Read Part I and Part II

 

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The conversational approach is grounded in the idea that people are influenced by other people and brands they trust – and reject commercialization.  How do we build influence and earn trust? “Create, post or share compelling content” according to a majority of respondents on this survey on influence. Read More…

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Why the change in approach now? (Part II of III)


Marketing more like PR

Photo: Baltimore Harbor

by Frank Strong

Note:  This is the second post in a series on how Social media is making marketing more like PR.  This series is an effort to reflect and expand on earlier thoughts on why marketing looks more like PR, posted in September. 

 

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Why the change in approach now?

Social media is clearly the catalyst for convergence, as Kary Delaria remarked on Minnesota Public Relations Blog, a blog by the local PRSA chapter, “It became clearer to me in the past few weeks when working on a variety of proposals – some which were ‘marketing’ proposals and others that were ‘public relations’ proposals. When you bring social media tools into the communications strategy, the lines between ‘public relations’ and ‘marketing’ are increasingly blurred.” Read More…

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Social media is making marketing more like PR (Part I of III)


marketing more like PR

Social media is making marketing more like PR (Photo: Baltimore Harbor)

by Frank Strong

Note:  Previously I have written that  marketing increasingly looks like PR. This post is the first in a series to expand on those thoughts.  

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The lines between public relations and marketing have burred, yet this convergence more accurately reflects the idea that marketing looks more like PR rather than PR being subsumed by marketing. Read More…

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Marketing increasingly looks more like PR


Marketing looks more like PR

Marketing looks more like PR

by Frank Strong

“The distinct discipline of Public Relations no longer exists,” wrote Todd Defren on PR Squared, citing the theory of creative destruction, a term popularized by economist Joseph Schumpeter which describes “the process of transformation that accompanies radical innovation.”

Defren continued that marketing is the “umbrella under which all other disciplines fall.  The problem is that it’s ever harder to bucket this stuff.”  It’s a sentiment undoubtedly many in both PR and marketing would agree.

“The gray line between marketing and PR is (rightfully) diminishing, especially considering there are new ways to promote your company (one could argue that social media is part of both marketing and PR),” wrote one respondent to in a Vocus survey on Integrated Communications that was conducted in March 2010. “Overall, marketing and PR have the same goal, and while they have different tactics to obtain that goal, their strategies need to co-align.” Read More…

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