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PR Props

PR Props

By Bob Geller, Senior Vice President, NY

The subject line of this post refers to “proper recognition,” not the “smoke and mirror” types of props that the profession is sometimes accused of using.

In her post, Public Relations is in need of some PR, Tara recently blogged about common negative misperceptions about PR and noted that the profession could use some image buffing. Mike Lane’s post, What is PR, added to the discussion about the confusion and mystique that surrounds PR.

So I thought it would be good to share a “glass is half full” perspective.

I have been pleased to recently see positive signs for the PR profession. On his Micro Persuasion blog, Steve Rubel noted that Head Counts Indicate PR Rising, and cited an AdWeek article that supports this. Although the advertising business is much larger than PR, in terms of employment and dollars, the jobs picture has been much less positive for ad agencies.

Also, I was thrilled to hear a Fusion job applicant mention to me that a book that he read and loved was The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, by marketing gurus Al and Laura Ries. The book reports on the growing influence and power of PR. (The candidate got the job).

Not that it is a contest. All elements of the marketing mix have their respective roles and importance. It’s just that, generally speaking, PR has been misunderstood, underappreciated and under-funded.

Mark Weiner makes this argument in his excellent book: Unleashing the Power of PR: A Contrarian’s Guide to Marketing and Communications. Mark reports that when the numbers that count are actually tracked (i.e., changes in marketplace perception and behavior), PR delivers outsized returns in comparison with other forms of marketing.

The takeaway is that the profession should take a proactive approach to setting measurable goals, tracking results and, where possible, exploring ROI.

This will help us document the important benefits we provide, which will in turn lead to a greater appreciation and understanding of our work.

1 Comment
  • Tommy Dodge

    March 20, 2007 at 7:15 am Reply

    Hey Bob,

    David Meerman Scott spoke at a sales conference for Market Wire in October, he makes some convincing points in his new book “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” on your firm’s said points. Thought I would share with you.


    Tommy Dodge

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