Global Congress: "Redefine brand to be more than a marketing conversation"

Companies must bring their communications and marketing departments together to remain credible, according to FleishmanHillard's reputation specialist Marjorie Benzkofer.

Marjorie Benzkofer: bring communications and marketing departments together
Marjorie Benzkofer: bring communications and marketing departments together

"There should no longer be a corporate function and a marketing function," she said. "There should be one single organic form that brings brand and reputation together."

Benzkofer, who is the global leader for FH’s reputation management practice, was speaking at the PRWeek Global Congress in Barcelona today on the topic of corporate authenticity.

Merging the functions is necessary to help "redefine brand to be more than a marketing conversation and become everything a company says and does", she said.

She argued it would also dampen the conflict between communications and marketing, which she claimed was "as damaging to an organisation as any outside adversary".

"For many years comms and marketing have battled it out for a seat at the top table, for the ear of the CEO and for budgets," she said.

Questioned on what this would mean for PR and marketing professionals, Benzkofer said there was a need for a "new generation with a new skillset".

"We need our people to be less oriented around channels, such as having an internal comms guy or a executive speech woman, and more focused on building teams around issues and working collaboratively around those."

Benzkofer spoke ahead of the release of FleishmanHillard’s upcoming Authenticity Gap study, which is based on more than 700 different brands across 50 categories.

One of its findings is that 21 per cent of people wanted to know more about what a company believed in while 44 per cent wanted to know about its processes and practices.

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