Magazine article Marketing

Publicist and PR Player: Spotting the Differences

Magazine article Marketing

Publicist and PR Player: Spotting the Differences

Article excerpt

It is fitting that it should have been in the pages of Britain's leading marketing magazine (this one, of course) that I read the following little gem.

The illuminating article highlighted the paucity of mould-breaking marketing strategies and the lack of courageous marketers to launch them.

In particular, it was the comments attributed to Nigel Gatehouse of Prudential that had me on the edge of my seat at The Ivy, expounding his "clone" theory (Marketing, October 28, 1993).

It went something like this: "The big brand companies hire graduates each year, train them in their ways -- and what do they get? They get clones of themselves who [my interpretation] only succeed in perpetuating existing, perhaps outdated, wisdoms."

Like all cosmic observations, this one was simple, seemed obvious and I wish I had said it. But what it also did was to explain to me why some marketers persist in viewing PR as a superficial "stunt machine" rather than a strategic resource. It's because that's how they were brought up to view it.

I was ruminating on this prospect during Radio 4's Medium Wave -- a media programme I listen to with only half an ear because of the blight it bestows on otherwise tranquil Sunday mornings (what can be more unappealing than journalists pontificating about themselves?) when -- blow me down -- up pops "PR man" Max Clifford.

Now, I cast no aspersions on Mr Clifford, but in my view, he's not a PR man at all: he's a publicist.

What's the difference? …

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