All through the first semester of Grad School I was lead to believe (inadvertently) I wasted years studying marketing and working in the industry. The classes were pure public relations: all communication was goodwill focussed, free publicity, viral and word-of-mouth. Oops, there I go using marketing terms again. But it was all PR versus marketing. One or the other, but never both.
This semester we had a lecturer who pulled it all together for me. David Schloeffel is the Strategy Director of Cubic Innovations and my favourite lecturer in this course. He showed us the full breadth of communications. He drew us into the world of advertising and, most importantly, showed how cut-throat agency life is.
Many in the class didn’t like it. They thought it was unfair: deadlines are deadlines or to judge assignments on industry standards, versus lecturers wanting to have great grades. So thank you, David for bringing together all aspects of my careers together, and reminding me how much I love the rush of agency work.
November 2014 addition
Now I actually feel that PR is a subset of marketing, along with advertising. And organic social media is PR. Burn me at the stake for this idea, but it’s not wrong. It’s just looking at core communications theory, not the buzz. Remember: the right message to the right people at the right time.