There I've got your attention.
I remember a time when companies separated marketing functions from public relations and most of the time had separate agencies doing the work without having contact with each other. Bizarre. Thankfully, some of that has changed in the last 20 years. Some say that social media is changing the face of public relations and for a PR practitioner to survive and be successful, a focus on social media is imperative. I think the problem is much more basic than that.
I'm not going to go in to a long tirade here on the subject. However, it is my belief that somewhere along the road oft traveled, the word “relations” was dropped or misplaced. We used to hear these terms: media relations, public relations, customer relations, employee relations etc. When the industry started using abbreviations like PR and MR I think they managed to forget the most important word in the phrase: relations.
I used to speak to college groups about my experiences, offered suggestions and often talked about that very word. Young students, wide eyed and idealistic had all sorts to grand ideas on how they planned to change things once they obtained that parchment to hang on the wall and ventured into the world. I doubt if my opinion changed very many of them. But, I told them that they should never forget or misplace the word “relations” and that it would be the single most import word to ever impact their career. Without a focus on relationships, success can never be obtained. It's true in our personal lives. It's true in our business lives and it's certainly true in social media.
So, I say to a world that loves puppies and a kittens, remember you need have to have a relationship with that big clumsy elephant in the room or you might get stepped on.