I’m at a career crossroads of sorts. After years of journalism and then public relations work, I’m stretching into marketing.
Oh, sure, I’ve done some marketing as part of my public relations practice. And I’ve learned a lot about marketing while helping my wife promote and sell From Incurable to Incredible: Cancer Survivors Who Beat the Odds. I’ve read a number of books about marketing. I’ve networked with some of the best marketers around.
But I’m ready to build on that foundation and expand my knowledge base. I’m finding that marketing is becoming more and more important to me in the new world of strategic communication and community building. Every time I attend a Cincinnati Social Media, New Media Cincinnati or Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) meeting, I find myself wanting to know more about marketing.
So I’m joining the American Marketing Association (AMA) in addition to PRSA. I plan to attend more AMA events. I’ve signed up for a marketing bootcamp and the Digital Non-Conference in Cincinnati. I’ll be reading yet-more marketing books.
So, just what is the difference between marketing and public relations? I turned to the classic Effective Public Relations by Cutlip, Center and Broom for some definitions:
- “Marketing is the management function that identifies human needs and wants, offers products and services to satisfy those demands, and causes transactions that deliver products and services in exchange for something of value to the provider.”
- “Marketing focuses on exchange relationships with customers. The result of the marketing effort is quid pro quo transactions that meet customer demands and achieve organizational economic objectives. In contrast, public relations covers a broad range of relationships and goals with many publics — employees, investors, neighbors, special-interest groups, governments, and many more.”
- “Effective public relations contributes to the marketing effort by maintaining a hospitable social and political environment. For example a hospital that maintains good relationships with volunteers, nurses, physicians, employers, local government and community groups will likely enjoy success in the marketing effort to attract patients and referrals for treatment. Likewise, successful marketing and satisfied customers help build and maintain good relations with other publics, such as employees, investors, government regulatory agencies, and community leaders.”
- “To achieve organizational goals, then, organizations must attend to both public relations and marketing. Each makes unique but complementary contributions to building and maintaining many relationships essential for organizational survival and growth. To ignore one is to risk failure in the other.”
Exciting times lie ahead! I’ll share a lot of what I learn and experience here as the months and years ahead unfold. Please feel free to contribute your experience with marketing on this blog as we travel this journey together.