Category Archives: PR

PR & Marketing: Chicken or the Egg?


Is PR a function of marketing?  Or is it a separate function all on it’s own? Or is marketing a function of PR?

This is a subject that I struggled with, deeply, for about a year or two after I graduated from Kent State.  You smile. Okay, I was naive.  At the time, I believed back then that PR was its own entity in an organization, offering sage advice, leading the way during times of crisis and waving the corporate/organization logo on a flag during the good times.

After graduating with a BS in PR and entering the working world, I learned over and over again — in both the non-profit world (Red Cross & a church headquarters) and corporate: Dart, Kraft, Hasbro & Rubbermaid — that PR is viewed a subset of marketing.

 Maybe not in the books.  Or in college classrooms. But in real life.

 There are PR professionals who disagree — check out Bill Sledzik’s ToughSledding and many of the 32 comments at Geoff Livingston’s Buzz Bin.  I got “egged on” with the recent posts about this subject. Check out these links, but watch out — the comments get heated!

I see PR under marketing from the direct report standpoint: For example, when have you seen a Director of Marketing reporting to a VP of PR? or VP of Advertising? or VP of Promotions?  Once in a while I see the PR function report in to the VP of Corporate Communications, who is probably responsible for the financial analysts relationships, SEC announcements and annual report.  Or the PR person may report to the VP of Human Resources if they are doing employee and community communications like videos, events and newsletters.  But almost of the time, PR is reporting to the VP of Marketing with the main goal to provide the 3rd leg to the 3 legged stool of PR, Advertising and Promotion.

I also see PR under the marketing budget.  For example, not an hour ago I received an email about an upcoming AAF meeting with a panel of major Cleveland marketing executives consisting of:

  • Judy Abelman of Avery Dennison
  • Peter Baka of Lincoln Electric
  • Rob Horton of ICI Paints
  • Tom Leibhardt of Moen
  • Rob Spademan of Cleveland State University

They will be answering questions about marketing topics such as: “How is your marketing budget allocated on a percentage basis? (e.g. advertising, PR, direct marketing, promotions, research, collateral, events, etc.)”

 So, at the risk annoying some, my vote today: Marketing leads, PR follows. Just my opinion.

(Sorry Bill, if you don’t want me to come be a guest speaker at your class anymore, I’ll understand.  But I really wish that someone had told me this when I was in school and I was believing everything that Ralph Darrow was telling us.)

Why PR & Branding is Stronger than Marketing and Advertising

It’s been a year since I posted about the difference between Advertising, Branding, Marketing and PR, so it’s time again…

Performancing and Neil Patel’s blog reminded me of a series of four illustrations originally from ZAG by Marty Neumeier that quickly illustrate the difference between marketing and advertising vs PR and branding. Although the message has been circulating for a while, it bears repeating!

New Rules for Business Branding and Marketing with PR on the Internet

Public Relations professionals know that the whole world of PR has had a dramatic shift to the internet in recent years. To brand and market a business, a PR home run is not necessarily getting the big story published in the newspaper/magazine anymore. More important is getting the story picked up all over the internet so that it can result in geometric results and link back to the website for long lasting SEO.

Business marketing and search engine optimization are greatly increased when the story gets picked up in print — not so much because of the actual printed story — but because of the large on line circulation and page rank of most daily newspapers and industry publications.

David Meerman Scott of Webinknow (That’s Web Ink Now, not Web In Know - but I love the double entendre!) really does a great job of explaining the new rules of PR in his book called, what else, “The New Rules of PR”. You can download the early edition of The New Rules of PR as a complimentary copy as a PDF or buy the paperback “New Rules of PR” from Amazon of the updated version.

David referenced a great YouTube commercial by PRWEB.COM disguised as a how to video. This one is a must view!

Thanks David for the bringing it to my attention.’s Solar Toaster press release video really succinctly tells the new e-release story! Thanks HRMarketer for the original reference to the video. I love the clean graphics and simple story. Great use of Viral Video too!

Use PR (Press Releases) to Increase your PR (Page Rank)

The backbone of a public relations program is the press release. I’m suggesting you use press releases to increase your Google page rank. First, measure your page rank. Download the Google Toolbar.Then go to your website and look at the measurement tool to get your page rank.

Next, write a press release and include your website as part of the press release. Perhaps you are giving away free information and the reader needs to visit your website to get the information. “Ten Tips to Increase Your Page Rank with Google” for instance.

Then post the press release at the various press release sites. Send the press release to the traditional media like newspapers and magazines in your industry. When your press release is picked up, you get a link. The higher the PR (page rank) of the website that picks up your press release, the more it helps your PR (page rank) and helps your traditional PR (public relations) along the way.

For example: has a page rank of 7. BusinessWire and PRNewswire each have a PR of 8. Some blogs even have have a decent page rank. When you comment on blogs that have a “no no follow” policy (like this one) your comment’s website will result as a link on this blog and will give you a link from a level 5 (as of today) website. Not too bad. The higher the page rank of the linking website, in theory, the better your link.

Why not have your press releases do double duty and help you with the SEO by including your company’s website address link in the press release??

Why Blog about PR & Marketing?

Why do I blog about PR & marketing?

  1. I learn something new everyday. Blogging requires about twice (or more) as much reading as it does writing.
  2. It keeps me on my toes. I find that I am constantly challenging myself by writing this blog. What I learned about marketing & branding & PR has really grown over the last 250 some posts.
  3. It’s what I think about when I’m driving. I can’t help it… I enjoy my work and often daydream about it.
  4. Blogging helps to focus the mind. It helps me organize thoughts and encourages my creativity.
  5. Marketing & PR continues to evolve… just like blogging. Is there such a thing as a blogger’s avitar?

I was tagged by David Temple at SEM Training & Certification. This meme question is tracked by SOLO SEO in an interesting way.

So now I ask the following bloggers:

“Why do you blog about PR & Marketing?”