The evolution of public relations into the concept of “marketing public relations” was exciting for both the marketing and the PR professionals. It expanded marketing’s tool set at a time when advertising budgets were getting expensive and harder to justify and consumers were tuning out of all the cluttered content that was being thrown at them.
In partnering with PR, marketing evolved from just being in the business to promote and sell products to the much broader role of raising awareness, facilitating communication, stimulating sales, and building that critical relationship between the company and its consumers. For PR, this evolution expanded its scope to include a focus on the bottom line, impacting sales and generating revenue. With this marriage, PR infused marketing with one critical element, the human element. That is what made the difference. PR brought its ability to tell a story, make an emotional hook, and add a human factor to the marketing mix. It opened up a whole new realm of promotional and selling opportunities. Now, it is more than just facts and figures or even compelling ads that persuade.
Marketing PR now has the ability to stage promotional events that celebrate the anniversary of a product, entice a personal endorsement from a celebrity that we admire, or introduce a special character like Ronald McDonald that we attach to a brand. All of this personalizes the brand experience for us. It makes the products more appealing and attractive. It’s no wonder that some talk of the fifth “P” that is part of the traditional marketing mix… place, promotion, product, price and now, Public Relations. With its humanizing influence, PR has made it to a seat at the big table.