New respect for PR? If Ad Age is any indicator, maybe so!

June 9, 2008 at 9:30 pm 4 comments

Sally Saville Hodge


That’s my somewhat gleeful chortle at the ironies of life as I ruminate on ongoing changes in the advertising/marketing/PR landscape, reflected in the pages of Advertising Age.

I really started paying attention back in January when the publication – considered by many as the Bible of the ad industry – actually named a PR firm as its Agency of the Year.  You could almost hear the collective gasps of surprise, chagrin, horror and what all as the big ad agencies and marketing firms opened their copies of that particular issue to find Richard Edelman’s smiling face looking out from the prized spot (subscription required) in the magazine.

What I found interesting was not just the nod to the job Edelman PR’s done in managing – being on the forefront, actually – all of today’s converging media. It was the implicit acknowledgement of the philosophy Richard espouses and that I, for one, agree with wholeheartedly. As he says on Edelman’s Web site: “PR should lead the communications mix because we uniquely engage all stakeholders in a dialogue that is timely, consistent and credible.”

Ad Age has only added insult to injury by continuing to play up PR-related trends and issues in prime real estate once devoted to the ad campaign du jour. On the front page of the June 9 issue, for example, it delved into how the spinmeister sector was coping with communicating about its biggest current issue: the slowdown in business. (Who’s glossing it over? Who’s actively concerned?)

And then…Ad Age had the nerve to opine that Jet Blue, beset with PR woes, actually NOT advertise (as per the carrier’s new push), but instead get back to the basics that set it apart to begin with:  “Customer service and good internal and external communication.”

I can’t say that I actively participated in the hand-wringing over the lack of respect that PR has typically gotten over the years from non-PR communicators, decision-makers, and, of course, the media in general. But it is nice to see that we’re getting some credibility outside of our own little sphere of influence.

Living up to the promise, though. That’s the challenge facing the PR brand moving forward.


Entry filed under: Advertising, Public Relations. Tags: , , , .

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