“Considering marketing and public relations as the same function, in my view, is in the best interests of the corporation. ... Marketing and public relations can and should be compatible. ... in gaining understanding of influential third parties--such as legislators, government agencies, political parties, labor unions, public interest groups, and churches. In the future, public relations will play a greater role in shaping marketing strategies responsible to consumer concerns. In the classic sense, PR will influence not only what companies say but what they do.” ~Thomas Harris, The Marketer's Guide to Public Relations (Turney)~
PR professionals are often assigned to other duties in collaboration with their company’s marketing and advertising departments in order to achieve the organization’s goal. If PR is integrated with the other departments, not only will it save the company time and money, but it will also help to protect the image of the promoted product or service.
PR is used to raise awareness, inform, and influence the audience’s behavior. The audience expects a certain level of trust from a company. At times, PR messages can be very political, jeopardizing that level of trust the company was hoping to establish amongst their consumers. By working with the other functions of communication, such as marketing and advertising, a stronger foundation of trust can be built because the message will be consistent across all lines of communication.
In addition, there are usually strict guidelines that must be followed when making claims in an advertisement—this fact will also help increase the consumer’s level of credibility and trust.Mark Weiner, author of Unleashing the Power of PR: A Contrarian's Guide to Marketing and Communication, said that “the belief in the benefits of IMC is as great as ever, even if the overwhelming majority of marketing organizations can't live up to its promise.”
“The technology is even more advanced than what had been conceived even just five years ago. And marketing is under even greater pressure to do more with less and for less.”
I couldn’t agree with Weiner more when he explained the reasoning behind why some companies are still haven’t grasped a real understanding for IMC. He explained that executives now know that truly integrated marketing can only be derived from a truly integrated organization.
“A truly integrated organization understands that IT and engineering are as much a part of marketing as marketing is related to accounting or manufacturing because each is rooted in the customer experience. Genuinely aligning an organization extends beyond most marketers' sphere of influence and oversight. The unwillingness of the organization to become more fully integrated in its thoughts and actions can be an insurmountable obstacle (Weiner).”
He explained that even those organizations claiming to deliver IMC are most commonly delivering integrated tactical outputs rather than an infrastructure aligned to deliver a positive, aligned customer experience.With that said, it is important for organizations not to ask their marketing, internal communications, advertising, and PR departs to work separately—with no involvement or sharing of responsibilities with one another. And, especially, the departments need not compete against one another. For the highest level of customer satisfaction will be obtained after an integrated message is delivered.
Turnery, Michael. “On the Way to Integrated Marketing Communication.” Northern Kentucky University. 2001. View the entire article here
Weiner, Mark. “What’s Become of Integrated Marketing Communication?” Bulldog Reporter. 6 March 2008 Retrieved 30 April 2008 here