Examining integrated marketing communications and how public relations professionals are integrated into the mix within their organization, several issues emerge that defy simple answers.
The move toward integrated communication is being driven by a combination of factors, of which social media is simply the most recent.
An informal poll among our discussion group found a consensus that small nonprofits are already utilizing integrated marketing communications due to their size and budget constraints, a conclusion some public relations researchers have also reached. Public relations agencies are moving toward integration as well because that’s what clients need and are demanding. However, most corporations still maintain the silo structure between public relations and marketing.
One of the opportunities for PR is the need to clearly define what the marketing/communications mix is. Although some studies suggest otherwise, there is a hidden danger in the term “integrated marketing communication.” When the word “marketing” is included, the inference is that marketing takes precedence in the relationship, whether intended or not. Is it time to move beyond integrated marketing communications to integrated strategic communications? It’s possible.