Is marketing to blame for PR’s poor reputation?

Is it fair to state that unethical PR practice results primarily from a marketing focus on publicity?  Aren’t spam press releases, pseudo-events, poorly conducted surveys and spin all about gaining attention regardless of the truth?

Can we blame PR’s poor reputation on an increased focus on promotional communications for competitive differentiation (the reductionist view of PR as solely a subset of marketing)?

As a tactical function, PR is reduced to generating “free advertising”.  That means evaluation ranges from calculating advertising value equivalent (AVE) to demands to prove return on investment in terms of sales generated from media coverage.

At the other end, those championing PR as a strategic management function seek to distance themselves from the press agents.  But in doing so, aren’t they ignoring PR’s proven ability to achieve marketing objectives, either alone or as part of an integrated approach?

While focusing on areas such as public affairs, “serious” practitioners outsource “marketing PR” to consultancies that promise creativity – often with little regard to ethical practice.  Indeed, PR agencies are then viewed as interchangeable with other external marketing functionaries, with whom they are increasingly competing for share of marketing budget.

This outsourcing approach ignores the fact that organisations’ reputations are often based on issues relating to the products or services that are offered to customers.  PR can also pro-actively support the achievement of strategic marketing objectives if the two work together as equal senior management functions.

In distancing the “profession” of PR, are we supporting our poor public reputation, which is based commonly on the views of journalists (and bloggers) at the receiving end of the mass marketing approach to media relations?

Allowing PR to be used tactically to generate publicity has enabled the might of marketing to extend beyond relationships with consumers to encompass communities (eg cause related marketing) and employees (the so called, internal market).

This may not matter, apart from the fact that marketing tends to reflect one-way methods of communication rather than the dialogic approach that is championed by public relations theory as the ideal.  Traditionally market research has been asymmetric, seeking information to persuade or influence audiences in favour of the organisation.

Surely the key to addressing PR’s poor reputation lies in the hands of the in-house management of the discipline.  Utilising PR to achieve marketing objectives should not be a role to be outsourced or delegated to junior technicians.  If we are committed to delivering real strategic benefits, that must include a real responsibility for achieving marketing objectives too.

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20 Replies to “Is marketing to blame for PR’s poor reputation?

  1. Thank you Jack. Wise and excellent words.
    Only one point: public relators also, and not only, have the task of communicating with journalists. There are many other stakeholders with whom we develop relationships.

    As Judy states, marketing and public relations are related functions and they don’t tarnish each other when adequately addressed.

    Personally I believe that public relations support marketing related objectives as much as they support corporate related objectives.
    Both (marketing and corporate)can be good, bad or indifferent and our reputation can be weakened or strenghthend according to how, in each case, we perform.
    So the buck comes back in our territory.

    Sounds simple, but rational.

  2. Adding to this discussion of the meaning of “PR” and “relationships,” I submit the following.
    Public relations used to mean mostly relationships with reporters. Reporters represent their millions of readers. PR people went out of their way to be chummy and friendly with reporters, helping them in any way they could.
    The norm was that nine out of ten calls from a PR person had to do with personal favors or setting up dates of some sort, helping with information or scheduling a Broadway show, ballet, opera, sporting event with spouses always present.

    PR pros said to us, “You’re not only our friends, you’re family.” I personally went to a least 30 homes of PR people and knew their children and their children’s problems. They knew my children and often came to my house.

    Big companies and agencies had numerous events throughout the year (breakfasts, dinners, cocktail parties, golf and tennis outings, etc.) at which PR people spent “quality time” with reporters. Holiday parties were numerous in New York. PR pros saw themselves as “salespeople” and followed the rule that the first sale of a salesperson must be him or herself. The object was to build trust. Trust meant nothing could happen at the PR person’s company or client without the reporter being told and reporters would not write about the company without first checking with the PR person.

    In the last decade or two, PR pros have “disappeared.” Reporters rarely see them in person. All company lunches, breakfasts, etc., stopped. Even stray lunches stopped as PR people developed a great fear of even being seen with a reporter. Having friends in the press, once a goal of all PR pros, became career-threatening.

    PR depts. lost the trust of the rest of the company. To prevent being seen as a leaker of company secrets, PR pros stopped seeing press altogether. PR is now mostly mechanized and made transactional and impersonal. PR is now like using an automatic teller at a bank or buying coffee from a machine. PR pros used to last decades in their jobs but now they are flipped every few years. Maybe management is afraid they’ll develop relationships.

  3. Let me please try to trace the problem back to a root. Why is the reputation of the PR profession shaky? PR seldom can or is telling the full truth. It only can foster certain aspects of the full story. It deals in many times with half truths, at least ommiting the little negative aspects if possible. People know that. They hear the well formulated sentences and listen to their inner voice: It’s probably a half truth.

    In many cases the real duty of a PR is to protect and promote the CEO. The PR will advice the CEO, and if the CEO is in boiling water for some reason or another, the PR is sent out to the front to sell a half truth, at least a streamlined truth. And in these high times all the public focusses its attention on the CEO and sees the PR doing the best he can – but they know: he’s paid to say something nice. And in this moment a PR is being seen and realized by the public, in quite times a good PR isn’t noticed very much anyway.

    Another duty of a PR is to maintain or establish good relations with certain interest groups. These interest groups know they will hear from the PR only that what the PR thinks is acceptable for them. So if they want to know the real Mc Coy they will definitely look for other information channels or terminals. So therefore PR per se isn’t authentic. That’s why people refer to e.g. Blogs, journalists etc. and not to PR issues.

    To top it – there is a hidden reason why PR isn’t that much important in public opinion. A PR cannot decide because he has no budget to manage the company. A PR spreads only words, a CEO decides! And the PR is always being seen in conjunction with the decision makers.

  4. Good discussion so far. But I have do disagree on some of the comments.

    First, I didn’t say that we should dump the term PR altogether like Kristen is referring to my comment. No, definitely we should stick to PR. Toni is right the words PUBLIC RELATIONS explain themselves. I just wanted to explain, if we think of the result of PR may be it is much more obvious how PR should be seen.

    A farmer is farmer because he grows crops. Right! What does a PR professional grow? Reputation! Very simple. Markus would say that others also could claim that they are responsible for reputation. But this is like when I am growing some tomatoes in my garden. I can not say I am a farmer. We are professionals who grow reputation. We are doing it by relating. In our studies on reputation we see that trust is the main driver for reputation. Relating to the stakeholders is essential. There is almost no reputation without trust, at least no good reputation. Trust is built on relating.

    We study our stakeholder’s expectations; we communicate our expectations to the stakeholders and we tell our organizations how to behave so that the stakeholders trust us. By doing so, we produce reputation. Reputation is the reservoir that activates the license to operate, the selling of products, the provision of good legislation, the performance of the share price, the interest of the smartest people to work for us and so on. This is like a water reservoir, like we have it in the mountains to produce electricity. Water is pumped up or is collected by the rain ore snow fall. In PR we communicate (pumping the water up) and we behave and collect the respect of the stakeholders. And reputation is raining on us. Some times we are standing in the rain. That is also part of the game.

    I don’t’ worry how we name ourselves. If a group said, we call ourselves Seminar, and not PR Seminar any more. So what? My job title is head of communications. My colleague’s job title is head of legal department. But he is a in-house lawyer. So he is a lawyer. I am an in-house PR manager and my job title is head of communications.

    There is another reason why I love to explain PR by its result reputation. You can measure reputation. You are getting figures and you are able to report that figures together with marketing figures. Doing this we are getting recognized. In our reputation model which we have developed with Prof. Diana Ingenhoff, (Diana has developed it, we helped) we do not only measure reputation, we also measure the impact of reputation on our most important stakeholders. (employees, customers, stock market, and politicians)
    The bible tells us that you can only judge a tree by its fruit. For me the PR Tree is full of reputation.

    I am a PR Professional ho helps my organization to be much more successful by managing the reputation and my job title is head of communications.

  5. Here’s a story that has to do with the definition of PR and even whether it should be used at all. Many large companies no longer use the term. –Jack O’Dwyer

    PR Seminar Drops “PR”
    A committee of the elite private PR group headed in 2007 by Jon Iwata of IBM finds too few members have “PR” in their titles. The 55-year-old group is now, “The Seminar.”
    Tues., Nov. 20

    A committee of PR Seminar, the annual gathering of heads of blue chip corporate PR depts. and about a dozen CEOs of major PR firms, has decided to rename the group as simply, “The Seminar.”
    Founded in 1952 by corporate PR people who attended annual meetings of the National Assn. of Manufacturers, Seminar had retained “PR” in its title although most members had dropped it decades ago in favor of “corporate communications,” “public affairs,” etc.
    Only one of the 33 new members of Seminar this year had a title with PR in it—Jane Garvey, VP, corporate communications & PR, Convergys, Cincinnati, $2.7 billion company that grew out of Cincinnati Bell.
    Only five of the 42 new members in 2004 had “PR” as part of their titles.
    A committee headed by 2007 Seminar chair Jon Iwata, senior VP, worldwide communications of IBM, did a survey earlier this year of titles used by members and also discussed the matter at length.
    Sources said there was “heated discussion” on both sides but that the weight of evidence (the nearly complete abandonment of PR by members) proved decisive.
    One topic of discussion was whether PR is a subset of corporate communications or vice versa. Some Seminarians argued that PR involves a number of activities that are not strictly communications and therefore, communications is a subset of PR.
    Don’t Want “Relations with the Public”
    Some PR veterans said the meaning of the switch is that many companies, and particularly the biggest ones, “simply don’t want relations with the public any more.”
    They particularly don’t want relations with the press, others added.
    Some educators worried that there will be fewer PR majors now that Seminar, whose members have the highest titles in corporate and agency PR and communications, have dropped the term. Corporate PR policy throughout the U.S. is heavily influenced by discussions among the members of Seminar both at the annual meeting and at sessions of the executive committee throughout the year. At one point, monthly meetings of the committee were held at the Harvard Club in New York. There is no press contact at Seminar to field questions.
    Attempts to reach Iwata earlier this year and for this story were unsuccessful. Staffers will not provide his phone or e-mail.
    With “marketing communications” in ascendancy, the current fashion is to aim “messages” at “target audiences” and subsets of the public such as employees, customers, potential customers, stockholders, retired employees, legislators, etc.
    The audiences are further defined by age, gender, income, religion, status of health, geographical location and other demographics.
    Effectiveness of messages aimed at the target audiences is measured as closely as possible to determine the impact of the messages on the “bottom line.”
    Press relations has become defensive at many companies. Incoming calls are handled with great caution and outgoing press calls rarely initiated unless there is certainty that the corporate “message” will receive proper treatment.
    Seminar Is Hush-Hush
    Seminar’s four-day meetings, at many of the finest resorts in the U.S. (the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, Calif., was the scene of the 2007 meeting), are highly secretive. Members are warned that if they report any of the doings to the press they will be banned for life.
    Paid speakers, including academics and those from major media such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fortune, Forbes and Business Week, also swear not to write about Seminar. Corporate communications executives usually have control of the corporate ad budget.
    With attendance of more than 300 (including spouses) upwards of $750,000 and more is spent on the meeting each year including registration costing several thousand dollars.
    Page Continues to Use PR
    Roger Bolton, president of The Arthur W. Page Society, said Page will continue to use the term “PR” and that he considers “corporate communications” to be part of PR.
    PR, he said, not only involves communications but building relationships with various audiences. He noted that the chief principle of Page is “tell the truth.”
    Page hosts on-the-record meetings at which reporters are invited and also publishes numerous studies and reports on PR-related topics (
    Tom Nicholson, executive director of Page, noted that only eight of the current 340 members of Page have PR as part of their titles.
    Some don’t use PR because they are heads of PR firms or are academics, he noted.
    Class of 2007 Listed
    Seminar inducted 33 new members in 2007 including 19 women. Only five women were present at the 1969-70 meetings. During the 1960s and 1970s, fewer than ten new members were added each year. The high turnover today reflects high turnover in corporate CEOs.
    Many members of Seminar also are members of Page and “The Wise Men,” a New York group of about 80 PR executives that was founded in 1938 by John Hill, founder of Hill & Knowlton. It conducts private meetings each month.
    Joining Seminar in 2007 were:
    Shelly Ann Bird, chief communications officer, NCR Corp.
    Michael Busselen, VP, corporate communications, Solectron Corp.
    Fred Cook, president and CEO, Golin Harris
    Tim Cost, listed as with Aramark as XVP, corporate affairs, although he has left Aramark
    Donna Cox, VP, comms., MeadWestvaco
    Debra DeCourcy, VP-CC, Fifth Third Bank
    Valerie DiMaria, Willis Group Holdings, London-based insurance brokerage
    Frances Emerson, VP-CC, Deere
    Kimberley Goode, VP-CC, Visteon
    Mark Hess, CEO, Manning, Selvage & Lee
    Denise Hill, VP-C, Quest Diagnostics
    Kathleen Lawler, VP-C, Harley-Davidson
    Mary Linder, SVP, corporate brand & communications, Northwest Airlines
    Gerard Mauchner, director and VP-comms. & PA, Eastman Kodak Co.
    Anne Nobles, VP, corp. affairs, Eili Lilly
    Thomas Noland, SVP-CC, Humana
    Helen Ostrowski, Global CEO, Porter Novelli
    Andrew Polansky, pres., Weber Shandwick Worldwide
    Bonnie Racquet, corp. VP, PA, Cargill
    Steven Rautenberg, SVP, CC, NY Life Ins.
    Chip Rouse, VP, U.S. comms., Sanofi-Aventis
    D’Arcy Rudnay, VP-CC, Comcast Corp.
    Robert Sherbin, VP, external comms., Hewlett-Packard Co.
    John Spelich, VP-CC, Walt Disney Internet Group
    Michael Stewart, dir., external rels., McKinsey
    Jessica Stoltenberg, VP-CC, Wyeth
    Mary Stutts, sr. dir., CC, Genentech
    Daniel Tarman, mng. dir., CC, Countrywide
    Loretta Ucelli, SVP-CC, Pfizer
    Melissa Zorkin, pres., Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
    Ann Marchant, CEO, Walker Merchant Group
    Robert Wynn, VP, global CC, Oracle

  6. The Daily ‘Dog (Bulldog Reporter) has an interesting and somewhat relevant article today regarding this debate: PR Must Stand Up for Itself – a Top 10 List of Reasons Not to Hate PR People! By Linda VandeVrede, Blogger, Valley PR Blog; Director of Public Relations, iMemories

    Public relations and marketing work best together when they are recognized and treated as distinct but equal and complementary disciplines, recognizing one another’s purpose, strengths and skill set. That’s why I (respectfully) disagree with Andrew that we are in the marketing “business,” although some of the time I can (and do) work amicably with our marketing personnel and their defined publics, mainly strategic communication management and media relations. But they are certainly not the only area I work with, nor are my objectives limited to marketing ones.

    I’m of the opinion that at least some of the blame rests with agencies that really focus on marcomm projects/clients billing themselves as PR agencies, thus muddying the waters of public opinion. And now you have the social media boutique agencies, wanting the whole enchilada. (LOL! Maybe they can eat an enchilada as they navel-gaze and evangelize into the hall of mirrors that is the blogosphere.)

  7. Maybe our (PR’s) problem has something to do with the fact that many of us enter the business as former journalists and try to bring those moralistic, crusader values of traditional journalism along with us. Since many journalists — not all, but many — enter the craft with a moralistic sense that they are on a crusade to speak truth to power, when they enter the PR side, they experience some cognitive dissonance. They (we) still want to present the truth, but now they’re doing so from a different perspective: as representatives of organizations or institutions that may not share those same moralistic values that drove the PR person toward a journalism career in the first place.

    Maybe we should just get used to the fact that we’re in the marketing business.

    Maybe we just need to get over ourselves and our navel-gazing in the hall of mirrors that is the blogosphere.

    After all, how many times do you hear marketing people complain that PR is messing up their public image?

  8. I’ve long believed that (in Australia) PR has been PR’s own worst enemy. I just don’t think we have “sold” (explained) ourselves to many different audiences. Students are still confused about what PR is. For many, it’s still about functions and events. Perish the thought that any writing is involved. I believe PR needs to align itself more with business schools. In many places this happens, but in many places it doesn’t. It will take a while, but eventually we should have cohorts of advertising, marketing and PR people singing from the (almost) same “hymn sheet”. Meantime,

  9. I apologise.
    My criticism is directed to ten thousand time that a senior professional complains about the term public relations without realizing that, al latins say (not latrins, unfortunately..) in homen nomen.
    We relate with publics also by communication with them. But what is even more distressing is that we show a peeearrish (in its worst sense)mentality when we think that if we change name we change substance. If anything its the opposite but don’t tell this to flacks..or how else would they survive?

  10. >Let’s dump the term altogether (and sing it to the melody of “Let’s spend the night together”)
    I’m hesitant to agree. Changing the label doesn’t change the content. Re-branding our industry will not help if we can’t walkt he talk. Obviously there are a few good reasons for the industry’s bad image (even if the dimensions may be exaggerated). We’d have to prove that we are really capable (ready, willing and able) to “manage reputation” before we rename our profession as Reputation Management.
    BUT: We don’t have a monopoly on reputation either. And even if we had, there will always be some members who’d do just anything for a quick buck, no matter what they are called.
    I’m not sure what’ll be easier: to regain PR’s very own territory or to prevent a newly established Reputation Management industry to deteriorate overnight.

  11. Many times, I’ve found the term “public relations” unsatisfying. It seems to mean so many different things, depending on the practitioner, the culture, etc. In my little town outside of Paris, Relations Publiques is the office on the main street where you go to get information about when the buses run, where public parking is free or paying, when the garbage is collected, etc.

    I think Martin Bredl hits the nail right on the head. Let’s dump the term altogether and start referring to ourselves as the organization’s Reputation Managers. After all, we don’t have a monopoly on relationships. HR and management deal with employees regularly, Marketing deals with customers, IR deals with the investors, etc. What sets us apart more than anything else is our objective: to maintain and enhance the organization’s reputation and credibility. Defining such an objective then makes it much easier to position ourselves as advisors to senior management and to explain our ROI. We may share tactics with other communications practitioners, but we have been entrusted with a specific task that is primarily our responsibility. That does not mean others don’t have a role to play — of course there is interaction and some overlap — but we are the champions of this specific objective.

  12. Hello there

    I’m quite new here and hope not to be “hors sujet”. But here’s a thought on this PR reputation issue :-).

    If PR’s poor reputation is due to PR moving towards marketing, a way of making it more popular may be to show that, actually, marketing is moving towards PR.

    I’m thinking about online communications. From what I see (on the French market), marketers are discovering PR – but they would not say they are making PR, they will say for instance that you need to approach bloggers in a respectful manner, being ready to dialogue with influencers and consumers, in a very targeted way, etc. Hey, isn’t this PR?

    (GOOD PR, I mean, but anyway I believe we all agree spam PR is not PR)

    In my opinion the best practices for online communications are PR practices… and marketers are ready to discover this. We just need to say it.

    For those who read French I’ve developed this idea in a post named “10 reasons why PR are the best of online communications”. A way of working on our reputation…

    Hope this is bringing something to the conversation and that you don’t feel spammed 🙂

  13. Evidence of PR’s growing public unpopularity in the U.S.:

    Heather, your argument is sound in that my research has shown that what concerns people about PR is the idea of “persuasion.” People who see PR as relationship building are going to have a different view from people who see PR as spin, propaganda or manipulation. Unfortunately, some people who call themselves PRs actually do the latter. How are members of the general population who don’t know much about PR supposed to see the difference?

  14. Interesting timing for this post. On the same day as you wrote this post, I was addressing this very issue from a different angle — bemoaning the latest Apple Mac vs. PC TV ad that casts the “PR lady” in the stereotypical light of slick-talking, disingenuous “spin doctor.”

    PR and marketing are in many ways one in the same, or at least the two disciplines should be allies. It sickens me to see our comrades in arms portraying us in a bad, and hopefully false, light.

  15. Heather,

    Several times in the past few months I’ve started writing a post similar to this one. I’ve long had concerns that PR will someday be swallowed up by the “evil twin” I call marketing. And when that happens, we may find ourselves far more focused on supporting sales and promotions than supporting reputations or relationships. This scares me — a lot, as it represents a regression.

    My concerns are amplified by the younger PR bloggers who use the terms interchangeably. And I’m downright amused by the social media bloggers who think they have the high ground on the “relationship” discussion. Truth is, PR has been focused on relationships long before the marketers. This doesn’t mean we can’t support the marketing function. That goes without saying. We simply need to maintain our perspective and, at times, our distance.

    Of course, PR’s impact on sales is far easier to measure than our impact on reputation isn’t it? But I won’t take us back to the measurement thread. This is your post!

    I will link you to a great post from Todd Defren that warns of the unethical influences of surreptitious marketing who regularly target social media. Todd is one of those who sometimes mixes the PR and marketing terms. But posts like this one tells me he knows the difference.

    Todd’s post:

  16. Martin,
    great to see you here on PR Conversation. For those who may not know him, Martin is currently chairman – or “president” as we say (we Austrians like our presidents, don’t we 😉 – of the Austrian PR Association (PRVA), and head of corporate communications of Telekom Austria Wireline.
    I really hope that you will – together with Prof. Ingenhoff – present in this blog the details of the reputation management system you mentioned in your comment. That would be interesting stuff for debate.

  17. First of all I am supporting Markus’s view, that PR by itself has not such a bad reputation. The problem seems for me, that we PR-Professionals have not a simple way to explain what PR is accomplishing. If you ask 10 PR-Professional why someone should invest in PR you will get 11 answers.

    Marketing sells. That is very easy. Product-PR also sells. But this is not a good answer. Suddenly someone will say there is more than that. As I have spent so much time and energy the last two ore almost thee years with analysing reputation and finding out how reputation is affecting the business, I like this: At the end of the day everything in PR results in reputation.

    Primary we are managing Reputation. Reputation is an intangible asset of a company ore of an organisation, which can be tracked and measured and for the financial people like my friends the controller we even can show reputation in financial figures (EUR ore $). We have developed with Mrs. Prof. Diana Ingenhoff from the University of Fribourg a model of reputation analyses that proofs that media affect the reputation and the reputation affects the stakeholder’s behaviour. We could not only proof this correlation, we also found out what kinds of dimensions of the reputation have the strongest impact.

    So coming back to the question how marketing is affecting the PR Reputation I would like to say: never ever compare marketing with PR. PR is producing Reputation Capital and this will for the long run support the sale, the goodwill of all the stakeholders. Good Reputation is the licence to operate. It is a precondition for marketing. Never ever should we sell PR as the cheaper advertising.

  18. If I may, for once, ask an heretical question: Why are we so sure that PR’s reputation is so terribly bad? Okay, we get our daily dosage of “flack” and “spinmeister” bashing, and in image rankings PR is usually at the bottom part of the list (together with journalists, used-car dealers and lawyers – well, not in Austria, where lawyers mysteriously are in the top ranks. I’m sure Heather will appreciate this reference to rankings :-)). But on the other hand PR in all (or most of) its facets is held in high (and/or growing) esteem in C-level management, at least that’s what the situation in Austria suggests. If budget attribution is an indicator (and I’m not speaking of budget in toto but of detailed attribution to certain areas of activities) the reputation of PR in the corporate “world” seems to be much better than one would expect.
    No doubt, though, sh*t happens, and quite a lot of it, and the reasons for that are manyfold.
    Still, I’d rather not readily accept the common stance that PR’s reputation is generally bad without asking and analysing where and why and when.

  19. Heather, excellent post! Fully agree with your underlying premise that PR is seen as an extension of marketing with only one function: “to get our name out there.” At least, that’s what I hear from the senior executives of my clients. Clients have trouble formulating meaningful goals for public relations, and the PR industry fails to advise them in this regard. Why bother? In my experience, even “advanced” and “enlightened” PR professionals are at a loss when it comes to proving their value to clients, other than sheer volumes of publicity, at any cost.

    The recent outcry against indiscriminate publicity seekers, spurred by Chris Anderson of Wired/Long Tail, is a long-overdue reaction to the systemic problem with PR. Clients need their weekly fix of hefty clipping books, and this what we are judged by, regardless of all the declarations of reputation management and public dialogue.

    I, too, am guilty of this. My clients, too, tend to view PR as a mouthpiece for their organizations – the louder, the better. It would be very easy to lament the pitiful state of PR – and continue to do the same thing. After all, the industry has been doing it for years and years.

    Heather is right that in-house PR leaders are in an excellent position to institute this change. However, I don’t agree that agencies and consultancies can only be entrusted with tactical activities having negligible impact on the company’s reputation. I believe that consultancies, in a way, have even more power to change this course. It can be done by assuming responsibility for clients’ strategic goals (including marketing goals) and making a real contribution. And that means giving up the “one size fits all” approach and the business model, which logically stems from this approach. It’s time to become less of “agencies” and more of “consultancies,” just as in-house people take over strategic advisory and managerial role. The only way for the industry to sell this to the CEOs is to demonstrate meaningful results – both, long term and short term – other than number of publicity hits.

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