Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of 12 guest posts from industry executives predicting key trends that will impact the public relations industry in 2012. Hosted under the hashtag #PRin2012, the series began Dec. 19, 2011, with a compilation post previewing all 12 predictions.
The recent news about Johnson & Johnson appointing Michael Sneed as vice president of global corporate affairs, overseeing global marketing and public relations, stands as yet another indication that brand and reputation continue to converge and create the need for joining forces.
There is usually a fairly vitriolic response from PR professionals to the notion that PR should be part of the marketing department or report to the CMO. But get ready: this will happen more and more as organizations’ brands and reputations merge. Some organizations already are making the most of a blended approach to marketing and PR, including GE, IBM, P&G, Nissan and Xerox.
Of course, one of the more fluid aspects in the shuffle to restructure is social media and who owns it. But can any one function truly “own” social media? Organizations need the balance in perspective, engagement approach and story-telling aspects that the PR discipline brings, but they also require the sort of visual content curation and analytics that the marketing team offers. The latter is key: marketing departments typically have the deep pockets that can buy-in the sort of robust metrics required to go to market in the most informed way.