EDITORIAL: PR onus of integrated marketing

Integrated marketing is old hat. As a concept, it was being practiced and preached by PR pros like Harold Burson and Tom Harris long before the term became popular in business schools, sales conferences and even magazines.

Integrated marketing is old hat. As a concept, it was being practiced and preached by PR pros like Harold Burson and Tom Harris long before the term became popular in business schools, sales conferences and even magazines.

Integrated marketing is old hat. As a concept, it was being

practiced and preached by PR pros like Harold Burson and Tom Harris long

before the term became popular in business schools, sales conferences

and even magazines.



But one trend that is relatively new is the employment of PR

professionals to lead the integration. In ’The integrated marketing

puzzle’ (p28) we look at the experience of pros at a number of blue chip

companies: John Kiker at United Airlines, Matt Gonring at Arthur

Andersen, Don Spetner at SunAmerica, Fred Hill at Chase Manhattan, Dick

Badler at Unisys and Kevin Ramundo at BF Goodrich. All of these

high-flying pros have recently added marketing and advertising to their

job titles or auspices. This is the truest sign of all that PR is taken

seriously.



The rise to power has always come with a fight. Gonring admits it took

five years to persuade the CEO that integrated marketing made sense. To

do this, Gonring showed him books and magazine articles on the topic and

introduced him to people already doing these kinds of jobs, as well as

the dean of Northwestern’s Business School - a classic piece of third

party endorsement.



Of course, as PR takes on more responsibility, it puts an added onus on

pros to know their ’stuff’: to understand (and study?) marketing on a

deeper level. But at the same time, if PR can be promoted as the ladder

to the top of the marketing department, it may help to attract

much-needed talent to the PR community.



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