By Brooke LeMunyon
Over the past seven weeks, I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn some of the basics of marketing through an introductory course here at UD. Due to my professor’s use of social media as a learning tactic, I’ve finally forced myself to become savvy in the Twitter universe! The class also sparked my interest and appreciation of some of the creative tactics used in the business world to spread knowledge on products and companies to the public. Similarly to the field of public relations, marketing is a fast-paced field that constantly changes. Although the course is not a requirement for communication majors and those studying public relations, I have found that a background in and understanding of marketing is very important for growth as a developing PR professional.
First, marketing relates to public relations in the overlap in responsibilities professionals possess. According to an article from Forbes by Barbara Thau, marketing and public relations both play vital roles in creating brand value. Products, services, and the companies that provide them are marketed through use of public relations skills such as writing press releases and avid use of social media. This aids in creating brand name recognition. As brand partners, marketing and public relations pursue creation and maintenance of client reputations. Also, smart marketing results in positive PR for companies. When these fields work together, the client is practically guaranteed to be pleased.
In addition, an understanding of marketing helps potential employees set their resumes apart for internship and job searches. It gives a competitive advantage. In today’s job market, exceptional writing skills simply won’t cut it: a variety in experiences and capabilities is key to differentiating oneself. Professionals need to understand concepts such as “the four P’s”, as well as the company’s goals. According to an interview from Adweek with PR executive Andy Polansky, clients now seek versatility in multimedia platforms and marketing in their ideal public relations agency. With these qualities in high demand, adding marketing to your pool of skills will only help, not hurt, chances of obtaining great PR opportunities.
For all PRSSA members and public relations enthusiasts, I encourage you to consider taking a marketing class during your college career. If you cannot find room in your schedule or are preparing to graduate, utilize resources such as the UD library and databases to research ways that marketing and public relations work together. Continue to discover how the fields work as brand partners. I have found it extremely helpful in developing my understanding of what is expected of me upon entering the job market. Although as a sophomore I have a long way to go, I am excited to continue preparing for a career in public relations and the challenges and opportunities it presents. I hope your interests and skills grow as well!
Brooke LeMunyon is a sophomore communication interest major from Jackson, New Jersey. She has minors in advertising and English. She intends to pursue mass communication with a concentration in public relations. As a career goal, she would like to pursue a job in public relations for non-profit organizations. She will be interning at The Bridge Christian Radio station this summer. In addition to involvement in PRSSA, she is a small group leader for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, has written articles for The Review, and is currently pledging Alpha Phi Omega.