Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's late September...

Saturday Jan 23, 2010

It's late September...

and I really should be
back at school.
-Rod Stewart, "Maggie Mae"
(one of my fave songs!)

Hello world - I'm about to re-enter the regularly posting blogosphere. Why you ask? Yes, I know I've been the slackest blogger on the planet with my every other week posts. But I suddenly have motivation to blog (and it's not kid news this time). And no, it's not my mom's cancer recurring, which many of you are aware of. You can keep up with her updates on her CaringBridge page, which I'm working hard to keep current.

It's class. Huh? Yep, my Communication class this semester is about how social media (blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are being used by organizations to connect with people. Piece of cake, right - a class on blogging and Facebook?! Well, like any grad school class, there's a little more to it than that. So, I'm going to make every effort to connect my everyday musings on my life to what I'm learning in class, 'cause my grade will depend on it. (Though I think I may struggle a bit to find PR song quotes to intro with!) Here's the other thing - I need comments. Like 100 of them in the remainder of the semester. (Is it cheating to ask for 'em, Dr. W?!) So, tell me what you think. Tell me what you want to know more about. Tell me that you'd rather me dump the academic info & just see more kid pics. I will ignore that particular request, but I promise, there will be some kid pics, too.

So, first topic - what is PR? What is advertising? What is marketing? What do you think, faithful readers? Frankly, I think most people use the 3 interchangeably. We communication people tend to see ourselves in the PR business as somehow "holier" than those in the marketing business (who just want to SELL stuff) and those in the advertising business (who are willing to *gasp* PAY for airtime to sell stuff). We're out to manage the image of the organization. We help the organization relate to the public. We find effective ways to communicate with stakeholders (employees, volunteers, donors, customers), discovering their needs and helping to match them to what we offer. It's not about the $$$ - it's about managing the relationship. Y'all buyin' that?


To me advertising=marketing, and PR is what you do when the CEO/president/big wig is caught in bed with someone other than his wife. At least that's when I notice PR firms the most...

Posted by Derek on January 24, 2010 at 01:48 PM EST #

Jen, like you, I have come across PR practitioners who hold the 'holier than thou' view - that we are not selling/marketing our product explicitly the way our peers in the advertising and marketing line do. A possible reason for such a view could be that they have to work hard to build media contacts to get a story published vs buying ad space in a newspaper. : )

Posted by Neha Chhabra on January 24, 2010 at 05:33 PM EST #

I imagine that marketing creates the awareness of need of a new product and that advertising shows a product that fulfills that need. While they serve slightly different angles of the same process, they fit "hand in glove" to sell a product. PR is not so much to sell the product but rather to establish a customer relationship or reputation of the business so that the product they sell is well received and therefore accepted. Customer communication in all its forms is critical for the ultimate success of the business.

Posted by laura on January 25, 2010 at 08:01 PM EST #

To me, PR is the larger segment of what an organization does to create, protect or enhance it's image to the public. It crosses all it's activities and products or services. Yes, it is the higher level of the three, but is not immune from the $$$. PR costs money to deliver, just like the other two.
Marketing is the setting and implementation of a strategy to improve the organizations ability to deliver products or services.

Advertising is a part of delivering the marketing strategy. The "paying" part.

Hope this helps!



Posted by Popper a.k.a Dad on January 30, 2010 at 03:04 PM EST

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