I’m beginning to realize that as much as PR and marketing folks don’t trust each other, the Maginot Line that separated them is starting to get a lot smaller.
And it’s all because of Generation Y.
Generation Y — people between the ages of 11 and 30 — have shunned traditional media and are regular consumers of online media. This is important, because Generation Y now outnumbers Baby Boomers, about 81 million to 78 million, depending on who you ask.
Gen Y consumes their media online: they read online newspapers instead of dead tree versions. They watch YouTube and Hulu.com, rather than traditional TV. They go out of their way to avoid marketing messages, rather than sit through 2 – 3 minutes of commercials (traditional “interruption marketing.”)
This has forced marketers to start reaching out to the Millennials where they are: video games, online videos, skate parks, social networks, and extreme sports sponsorships. They do this to build trust.
Public Relations 2.0 is all about building trust too. They use social media to expand their network to reach more consumers, and then try to create trust with the consumer. New marketing does exactly the same thing. They use social media, and try to build trust.
The ultimate difference is the motivation. Marketers try to make money for their clients, PR flaks try to get press for their clients.
I think we may see a day where PR and marketing agencies are no longer at odds, but begin cooperating, merging, or at least hiring someone from “the dark side” to handle that other side of the same coin.