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Is the merging of marketing and PR functions diluting PR’s credibility?
For decades, there has been a basic assumption about the need for separation between earned media and marketing duties. PR pros focused on reputation management, media relations and brand awareness. Marketers helped sell your product and generally played by different rules.
However, in today’s communications landscape, many functions of the PR pro are merging with those of marketing departments. Many PR pros now herald the PESO model as the winning solution, employing connected marketing and PR efforts.
Yet is this blurring of lines diluting the power of public relations to establish authenticity and credibility?
A new study from Kantar reveals that consumers are becoming less able to distinguish between advertising messages and other brand communication. Nearly three-fifths (58%) of respondents say they believe any brand message appearing in print (news and feature articles) to be advertising. Consumers report the ability to see past attempts to disguise your message—so trying to be clever could backfire for your organization.
Is this a problem for PR pros? Advertising doesn’t carry the same weight with readers that other messaging can, especially when ranked for brand trust and authenticity.
Digital advertising in particular has taken a hit in recent years.
Online advertising is regarded as a disruptive experience by 83 percent of the 2,500 people polled by Rakuten Marketing. Brits and Australians are more scathing toward ads than Americans or other Europeans, associating them with other negative online experiences like