How PR, Marketing, and Advertising Blend Together


Sage Communications attended the inaugural thought leadership conference on media convergence presented by the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. We put together our key takeaways on the convergence of PR, marketing and advertising to share industry insight into the future of the communication discipline.

The panel consisted of four industry thought leaders that provided their insight on the "convergence" phenomenon our industry is currently experiencing. While each panelist had their own viewpoint on the issue,  five overarching themes emerged from the session. These five points, the panelists agreed, will transpire over the course of the convergence of the communications disciplines.

Culture matters

What is a firm without its own unique culture? The panelists stressed the importance for each agency to have a clear definition of itself before focusing on client needs. This extends to each individual client team and requires each employee to understand the agency’s integrated approach to solve the client’s need. While sustaining a consistent organizational culture is important, it's also important to note that the shift towards integration is forcing many firms to reevaluate who they are as a culture.

Words matter

Long gone are the days of separate PR and marketing campaigns. It is more important than ever to ensure that every person on a team understands the platform, idea, tagline, concept, etc. for a client. Moreover, it is critical to have transparency of goals across agencies and between PR and marketing departments. By blending goals, there is less of a chance that employees will lose sight of the overall messaging.

Give the Benefit of the Doubt

Convergence has created the perfect setting for communications professionals to combat tradition and spark creativity.

Offer Functional Excellence

Functional excellence is do-or-die in the age of convergence. With more integration happening, the lines between traditional roles are becoming blurred and clients will be seeking the best. It’s no longer okay to higher average talent. To stay ahead you must acquire top-class researchers, creative thinkers, planners, etc.

FYK: For Your Knowledge

  • Fewer PR degrees are being hired than before. Employers are hiring more graduates with degrees that stimulate interdisciplinary thinking (history, linguistics, sociology, etc.)

  •  There is more “cross-contamination” happening in agencies than ever before. Professionals are making the switch from PR to marketing and vice versa.
  • The millennial “issue” is being solved with mutual respect and finding creative ways to incorporate them into the company culture outside of the work environment.
  • Measurement and analytics for PR and marketing will never be equal. Even as the fields continue to blend, there needs to be a lasting understanding of how to successfully measure each.
X-SageJim McIntyre