At a meeting of the Council of PR Firms, keynote speaker Marc Pritchard, P&G’s Chief Brand Officer and the man responsible for spending more marketing dollars than any human on earth, called public relations “the most authentic form of marketing.”
PR can be a potential difference maker in marketing.
There’s often a gap between controlled marketing messages and the reality of consumer or client experience. That’s precisely why going against the grain can differentiate.
But, Pritchard’s comment went to the heart of what a great PR campaign should be.
With PR and word-of-mouth, the authenticity gap is more unanticipated, and the results can be far more detrimental to brand reputation. Here, we’re dealing with editorial and social media, rather than paid and controlled messages.
We’re talking about depth of narrative, and we’re trading control for credibility.
The truth gap is always there. But when it’s too wide, and when it breaches a fundamental level of trust, the damage to credibility and reputation can be incalculable.
That is the best argument for a PR program to be based on a brand essence or a business’s fundamental truth. Only then can we live up to Pritchard’s billing as the most authentic form of marketing.