PR in the marketing mix Ian mc Keever MPRII/ Reading references Chapter 9 Marketing Communications (BA Case study) / Chapter 12 Marketing Additional web refs: Christopher Roscia ‘The authentic Brand’ Andrew Wernick ‘Promotional culture’
Section A PR in the wider marketing mix…
Question one will assess student’s understanding of how public relations fits into an organisation’s wider communication strategies.
The organisation’s values and wider communication objectives in addition to their PR objectives should be discussed.
The concepts of fit, strategy and synergy should be addressed. Case studies/ examples would also be appropriate
Pr in the marketing mix…
By definition lets see it from the marketing perspective…
IPR : ‘That PR is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics’
Bruning (2000) : ‘That pr is abut the management of relationships between organisations and their stakeholders’
What are the differences therefore?
Marketing communications has shifted in emphasis from the selling of goods in the short term to the customer to the establishment of long term communications with a broad range of stakeholders including suppliers on a broad range of issues.
Those new goals include:
- Developing understanding and preference
- Customer reassurance
- Becoming audience centred inactivity (see Virgin Media Insight)
Pr in the marketing mix…
How does it differentiate from the other marketing mix components? - ( Advertising/D Marketing/Sales promotion/Personal selling)
There are no purchasing decisions in the acquisition of air time or media space
The decision pertaining to the transmission of the message rests with the person managing the media resource and not the message sponsor . Credibility is therefore engaged through 3 rd party means
The degree of trust is enhanced by reducing buyers perceived risk. The converse applies of course regarding the message transmission itself; cant be guaranteed
The absolute cost base for Advertising V Public Relations is higher
As the media fragments and audiences are further segmented the options of using a highly effective PR campaign become apparent
Gregory (2004) ‘ digital media has transformed public relations; from one very critical view point: developing and enhancing 2 way communication
Pr v Advertising??
Public Relations has an advantage over advertising in certain key areas:
Flexible strategies – a PR campaign is a living, dynamic process and can be re-shaped in mid-stream if necessary. Companies have more flexibility to adjust and change the focus of their messages over the course of a campaign.
Flexible resources – PR campaign resources can be adjusted to meet the bottom line without disrupting a campaign’s effectiveness. A public relations consultant is well-versed in multiple elements, e.g. strategy development, writing, media relations and etc. But an advertising team might consist of strategists, coy writers, designers and media placement specialist. Removing or weakening any one element results in a weakening of the overall campaign.
Longer lifecycle – a properly executed PR campaign not only brings short-term results, but long-term relationships which yield benefits over time. By comparison, the life cycle of advertising is defined by placement schedules which inevitably show diminished returns when extended.
Time to market – PR campaigns tend to have a shorter turn-around time than advertising campaigns. Communications professionals can re-use information from one campaign to the next. More resources can be devoted to initial strategy, cutting the overall delivery time.
Pr v Advertising??
The most effective marketing strategy encompasses a comprehensive plan that includes a communications mix of marketing tools, that should include advertising and public relations. The two work hand-in-hand to produce desired results.
Recent research for AT&T in the States (2007) has confirmed—not only do advertising and public relations each contribute separate benefits, the two disciplines can be even more effective if managed together.
In fact, in periods of lighter advertising, public relations can compensate by supporting brand loyalty .
Researchers concluded that advertising and public relations activity each has its own impact on consumers, and these impacts interact to influence perceptions, attitudes and behavior.
Public Relations embraces everyone and everything, whereas advertising is limited to selling and buying tasks such as promoting goods and services, buying supplies and recruiting staff. Public relations has to do with the total communications of an organization; it is therefore, more extensive and comprehensive than advertising.
Pr in the marketing mix…
Shelf Life: TV Commercials V The Press Release Until recently, TV advertisements have had a shorter shelf life than a press release archived on the Internet. New Web sites are coming online with nothing but commercial content that would make any ad executive smile. Corporations are also posting their commercials on corporate Web sites to extend the shelf life of their ad dollars. Obstacles to viewing archived commercials are many. The more common ones include slow Internet connections, lack of installed software for viewing, and unless there is an HTML description about the commercial for search engines to archive, add inability to find a commercial online to the list of obstacles. These barriers are coming down quickly as technology and computer training improves. Archived press releases and news articles still rank high in terms of Internet longevity. Search engines can locate information (even in PDF format for some) long after the hype of a press release has waned. The major obstacle here is a person without access to the Internet.
Pr in the marketing mix: Models
Grunig believes that the 4 models co-exist
Press agentry + Public Information model + Asymmetric V Symmetric
In the 2 way symmetric model Grunig distinguishes between ‘craft’ + ‘professional’ practitioners…
‘ Craft’ oriented utilise PR for the sole purpose of media relations gain and therefore pr is the perceived instrument
Professional approaches seek to mediate the relationships and to create long term proactive communication
We therefore tend today to categorise public relations as dimensions of communications behaviour (Yun 2006)
- Direction ( is the communication one way or two way?)
Corporate public relations is a ‘ function of management that enhances and establishes mutually beneficial relationships between an organisation and its various publics on whom its success and failure depends ’ (Cutlip 2006)
Marketing public relations therefore is a natural extension whereby activities that are associated with specific publics such as customers/consumers/clients characterised by exchange transactions
Examples of marketing public relations include the Burger King ‘care lines’ to the airlines targeting hinterland customers on new routes