Guest Blog by Vera Dragovic
At the time when I was beginning to make my living by speaking on behalf of organizations, a lecturer at one of the courses in PR gave the group the following “simple” definition: “the difference between PR and marketing is that PR is the art of marketing without having to pay for it.”
So there was some strategy to it, the public relations, in getting your word out there without having to pay for it, if we can agree at least to some extent with this definition.
Considering the fact that PR nowadays teems with crisis PR and spin and is almost equated with dominant presence on social networks and the web in general, then mere visibility in the media may be the only thing that matters – a very difficult thing to accomplish owing to huge competition on the web and availability of all sorts of information.
This is where the importance of the nuance of content goes out the window, because content is whatever attracts public attention at a given moment. And often we need to sell ourselves first in order to sell our organization. This is, after all a celebrity civilization.
The task of a PR then is to get the employer out there to be seen, whatever way he/she can. The more traditional PR which taught us to adjust the discourse and demeanor to the audience may be dying, surviving only in the domain of high-level politics and diplomacy.
PR employees have always faced problems with measuring their effectiveness, and are now in a very difficult position when the evaluation of their work boils down to “return on investment”.
Are they on the verge of becoming redundant?
Vera Dragovic was nine years in public relations & communications in international environments, when she decided to get out of the limelight into the relative anonymity of program management. She has a degree in the English language which makes her writings understandable. Challenged by the current trends in digital communications, she has been tickled back into writing about and possibly working in communications again. Vera was born and raised in Belgrade and has for almost four years now been a resident of Dublin, Ireland.
This is the first part of a series of guest posts on The Standard Deviation.