Marketing and PR - two separate disciplines, once never associated in the same sentence let alone the same floor of an office! Despite this separate existence in the early days, the boundaries of each discipline have become increasingly blurred. A recent article published in PR Week suggests that the role of senior PR professionals is changing at a rapid rate, evolving to such a point that marketing is now a task on the daily agenda – with the shift also working in the opposite direction and with the benefit of hindsight, was there ever really a need to separate the two disciplines in the first place?
Sat in an office full of both marketers and PRs, such a claim naturally sparked a debate. However we were quick to agree that if senior in-house PR professionals are required to be equally well-versed in data and analytics as in communications and influence, then firstly, rightly so, and secondly, agencies need to react to the times swiftly or else risk being left in the dark!
Progressive agencies in the B2B world have already recognised the shift in the market, and regular campaigns already include a detailed appreciation of web analytics, statistical analysis, and even web development abilities –ready to tackle client scrutiny.
If you asked your PR team a year or so ago whether SEO or social media was part of the package you would be directed straight to a specialist partner agency - funny how times change. Whilst in some quarters such debates still continue, those that continue to adopt an ‘ignorance is bliss’ approach will certainly struggle in the coming months and years as the industry continues to evolve at a rapid rate.
Why change? Because what better way for a B2B agency to demonstrate value from a campaign than to be able to show, link and interpret the data from beyond the PR coverage through to the marketing campaign and even the sales activity to prove its worth? After all, what use is a pile of clippings without consequent sales?