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PR/Comms, Not Marketing Controls Digital, Social Media

June 4, 2010
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New digital and social media tools are more likely to be under the strategic and budgetary control of corporate PR and communications rather than marketing departments, according to a study by the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

One-quarter (25.4%) of surveyed communications decision-makers say PR/communication departments have 81-100% of budgetary control over digital and social media; only half as many (12.6%) say marketing has that much control.

Similarly, 23.8% say PR/communication departments have 81-100% of strategic control over new media; just 9% say marketing has that much control.

Moreover, 25.1% of communications professionals say marketing has no budgetary control over digital and social media, while just 10.7% say that of PR/communications; 22.4% say marketing has no strategic control, while just 6% say that of PR/communications.


"A very persuasive argument can be made that PR/Communication, rather than Marketing, is the logical home for these highly personal and social media, because they require a relatively noncommercial approach," said Jerry Swerling, the Strategic Communication and PR Center's director.

"They entail dialogue rather than monologue; they often convey objective information rather than product features; and they tend to be freeform in nature, which is just the opposite of the highly controlled world of Marketing."

Below, other findings from the sixth Communication and Public Relations Generally Accepted Practices (GAP) Study, published biennially by the Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center (SCPRC) at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.


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  • by Chris Fri Jun 4, 2010 via web

    This is interesting to see. As social media and the web become more prominent in marketing plans, I think there's going to be even more of a convergence between marketing and PR - possibly to the point of the distinction largely disappearing.

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