Sarah Morgan

Healthcare Geek.
Professional Communicator.

Healthcare

Dec. 6: Overlap

I’ve had a year blessedly full of work, but that volume has caused me to let my own blog mostly lie fallow. To make up for this, I’m going to try for a post a day in December. About just about everything. Funny. Serious. Anything goes. Here is Day 6.

Marketing you pay for; PR you pray for.

I first heard that 20 years ago, in one of my first jobs in public relations. Back then, advertisements were in magazines or newspapers, TV commercials or billboards. PR meant pitching reporters. The disciplines were pretty clearly separated, because traditional media were the only media there were.

But then a lot changed fast. I had a lot of conversations that included sentences like, “What’s a blogger?” and “What’s social media?”

Recently, I ghostwrote a column for a CEO. His team debated pitching it as an op-ed to several publications, but at the end of the day, they decided they’d prefer to have him post it as an article on his LinkedIn account. They would accompany that with links to it on their social media accounts and paid-for LinkedIn promotion to make his article show up in prospects’ feeds. It did great and they were very pleased. 

PR? Marketing? I’d say both. Or perhaps neither.

If you work in this grey space – as I do – it’s been very interesting. The term “content marketing” became popular over the last decade, mostly I think as an attempt to try to define this overlap.

But better than trying to define or pigeonhole the new paradigm is to just embrace it. We don’t have traditional vs. new, PR vs. marketing. We just have a lot of ways to reach people. They all work. None of the oldest of the old are invalid. (People still listen to the radio. They still look at their snail mail.)  None of the newest of the new are invalid either. 

With one caveat. They all work… IF you know what you’re doing.

(Isn’t that always the caveat?)

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