Sunday, November 9, 2008

Putting It All Together with IMC

Marketing and public relations differ in a few ways; they have different agendas. Marketing is interested in the market and look at the consumers and the demands of those consumers. On the other hand, public relations is concerned with building and maintaining positive relationships. The two work hand-in-hand, as the relationships built with public relations efforts allows marketers to have a healthy relationship to work in. Another difference between the two is seen in the value-add to the company. Marketing adds value by increasing revenue to the organization, while public relations adds value by decreasing the expenses that are created when issues are ignored.

Integrated Marketing Communications (or IMC), is a process which came into vogue in the 90's. Before this time, it was assumed that a single ad or news release could sell a product or service. However, IMC, which refers to the carefully created activities of marketing, advertising, pr, sales, Web sites, branding, etc, changed this thought. These elements now work together to create a stronger, more solidified message. Basically, it makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts.

I do believe that IMC is merging PR and Marketing both online and offline. By making the messages of all elements (television ads, newspaper ad and radio ads, social networks, social news releases, etc.) a more cohesive message is formed. This allows branding and brand recognition to take place, in order to become more recognizable to the customer. This allows the pr professional, marketing professional, and advertising professional to speak with a single, cohesive voice.

A lot of jobs I see now integrate many facets. For example, at my office, I feel that our marketing team does use IMC a lot. The three of us are all on the marketing team, but I take on more of the public relations and communication aspects, while another girl takes on more of the sales aspects, and the male team members works more on the branding and general marketing duties. We all have our own areas of expertise, but we all work together to create one message that we distribute in our own channels of communication. I feel our organization has a great, cohesive brand, and it is due to our ability to bring our individual areas together as one.

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