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Buyer's Guide

May 5, 2010


Ad/PR agency Indeahaus asked marketing executives "What is the biggest challenge in PR?" and received a variety of different answers with some consistent themes throughout.

Here are a few thoughts:

"Not having people assume it's all PR. when you show up to tell a story they assume you're just a flack."
— Bill Flanagan, executive VP, corporate realtions, Allegheny Conference on Community Development

"The balance you have to walk between transparency and effective branding."
— Chauncey Smith, chief sales/marketing director, ScienceMedia

"The word spin should never be in any person's vocabulary."
— Saul Markowitz, Markowitz Communications.

"The consumer is a cynic. Every time PR comes out it looks like PR or spin. And I think people smell it coming."
— Kevin Popvic, founder of Ideahaus

"The public reations folks have a chance to lead [the social media] charge."
— Brian Bronaugh, Mullen/Pittsburgh

"Every day the landscape changes with social media."
— Paige Beal, Point Park University professor

"I'd like to see more integration, especially working in an ad agency. Often it seems that PR is not fully integrated."
— David Sladack, VP, Brunner Advertising

"Public relations has as tendency to get a little soft. ...It's going to need to be measured more particularly as it moves more into social media."
— Realin Sawka Musuraca, digital strategist

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Commentaries on subject matter are welcome. Personal attacks are not allowed. O'Dwyer's reserves the right to cover any story it deems newsworthy.


Bill Huey, Strategic Communications, Atlanta (5/05):
Oh yeah, let's ask a bunch of ad guys, photographers and regional round pegs what the biggest challenge is. I'll tell you what it is: UNDERSTANDING PR. What it can do, what it should do, what it can never do, i.e., "mitigating negative press," as mentioned in one recent RFP reported here. As for measurement, you need to first understand what you're measuring. And none of these cats understands PR. PRSA and The Council of PR Firms should pay close attention to this YouTube piece. What it says categorically is that they have failed.

Veep (5/05):
Explaining PR to anyone not in PR. That includes most advertising and marketing people.

Ron Levy (5/05):
After a couple of drinks, a corporate manager might tell you "the biggest PR challenge is to go out there and get us some goddamn money! That's what I'm here for and you too--to get money. We don't need any more surveys, attitude inventories or crisis PR plans copied out of a textbook, we need money! Show me what you can do."

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