Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blurring the Boundaries of Advertising and PR

This is business Darwinism now.

- Sissy DeMaria, president of Coral Gables public relations firm Kreps DeMaria

In Clifford M. Marks, "PR and Advertising Are at a Crossroads," Miami Herald, August 10, 2009

For decades, most people working in advertising public relations saw clear differences between the two businesses. "Madison Avenue types took care of the 30-second spots, the billboards and the full-page ad in Sunday's paper. Their cousins in public relations drafted press releases, networked with reporters to land favorable coverage and helped handle crises that drew negative media attention." Now, MySpace and other sites are blurring the question of what kinds of marketing messages are PR and what are advertising. Moreover, they realize that in the new world to reach consumers they have to use a wide variety of strategies to reach their target audiences--even if the strategies don't fit traditional definitions of advertising or PR.

``Public relations and advertising are blending much more than they did in the past,'' says Jeff Steinhour, director of content management at Coconut Grove-based advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. ``They used to be separate worlds -- like church and state. Now you're seeing them at the same meetings at the same time.''

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