There seems to be an unending battle in the mindset of the communicator. Each person wholeheartedly believes their practice is the most effective in getting that precious message across and although without that passion there would be little to no effective work being produced, we need to remember that every facet of the communication process needs to work effectively and cohesively to develop and implement a campaign that truly touches the consumer and penetrates the market.
Having studied advertising, and now getting a taste of public relations, I’m quickly learning the place that each role plays in the development of effective communication. I will admit I have always bowled my inning for the advertising team. In fact, my definition of PR, which I thought was brilliant but with hindsight would like to retract, went something like this: “PR is definitely just advertising without a budget.”
But PR is not as simple as many perceive it to be. It is instinctive and driven by developing and maintaining real firsthand relationships with the client’s stakeholders. Advertising, on the other hand, is a lot of calculation and research, executed in a clever creative art form to communicate a message. Both practices are very different but equally as valued.
Communication, in its most effective form, should encompass aspects of PR that generate conversation in the media, online and among stakeholders, as well as put in place preventative measures in case of negative backlash. PR can create an effective landscape by developing key relationships with consumers which, in turn, ensures they are reached through advertising.
There is so much value in these two practices working effectively together. A great example is the Staples Paper, Scissors, Ink media tour with the World Champion of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
The campaign strategy was brilliant because the PR and the advertising complemented one another perfectly. The creative idea of a Paper, Scissors, Ink online game came from the advertising team but the PR strategy of bringing out the World Champion was pivotal in engaging consumers and driving them to the site. To get a feel for the excitement around the campaign just watch the Paper, Scissors, Ink case study video.
The PR and advertising industries could have the perfect marriage. If we learn more about each other and respect each other’s disciplines we could work in an integrated manner that would see highly effective results. The beauty of working at Porter Novelli is that we are owned by the Clemenger Group and have a close relationship with our advertising partners.