I think this picture sums it up in the simplest, easy-to-understand cartoon ever. I never realized exactly how integrated, yet completely different Public Relations, Advertising, Branding and Marketing were until I jumped in head-first with the acquisition of my first internship. A lot of my non-journalistic friends (and parents for that matter) have a difficult time truly understanding the concept of PR, even after my somewhat redundant attempts to explain (with examples).
At my first internship, I worked on a beauty account at a very small PR agency nestled in the heart of downtown Dallas. I remember one my first assignments being to look through beauty magazines for coverage of our client, a hair product line. And they called this work? I do this for fun. During my search however, I got extremely excited as I saw nearly 5 mentions of the brand and dog-eared the pages. When I took the magazines to my supervisor, she kind of gave me a look like, “uh no! Negative. Didn’t I ask for coverage?” To my surprise, magazines that I thought were loaded with “coverage” had absolutely none. Yeah, I dog-eared the advertisements. It was then that I realized that the job isn’t that easy. Advertisements are virtually, easily placed. Heck, they’re paid for. The real work is getting someone to take a product and find enough interest in it to place it in their publication. For free. So in essence, I “advertised” this product to these writers so they can, in essence, “advertise” it to readers, but with a news value? Oh, okay. So I’m pretty much “marketing” or attempting to promote/sell this product for the client as well? Got it. I understand the stale faces that result from my explanations now. It’s actually a somewhat complicated, all inclusive sort of business. And frankly, it’ll remain one that puts stale faces on non-journalistic people’s faces.
I currently intern in the fairly new, Moroch|PR department of Moroch Partners, a very well known, established advertising firm. My first impression: This place is huge! Moroch is the epitome of integrated communications. The company is all encompassing. The ads are done there; the PR is done there; the marketing, done there. Work for each client is passed around the company like a hot potato. Each department adds their expertise. It’s really quite astounding. I’d like to take this time to tip my hat (as though I were really wearing one) to all of the company’s who are able to successfully integrate all of these various aspects of product promotion, while keeping the jobs totally unrelated. Kudos.