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November 12, 2013


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Adam Miller

I never realized there was such a huge difference in the two until I started my public relations class this fall. I didn't expect social media to play such a huge role. We are using your book in the class.

David Meerman Scott

Adam, While there are some PR professors who understand the new rules, many do not. So good for you to figure out the differences.


I took a class of PR and the teacher was adamant that the the traditional media is the way to go, ignoring all of the new ones. This kind of people wouldn't last long in a real job.

Jean OToole

Adam, I loved your book (New Rules...)! Truely inspired me, my job is PR, however, I didn't "grow up" in PR, I fell into it so I guess I'm not pigeon holed to the old rules, but I feel a shift of "in your face marketing" to let me support your mission. SM is new to me and moves so fast! I'm having anxiety that I can't keep up and am very overwhelmed! How do I know I'm going in the right direction and going fast enough?


So David, I'm curious how you'd differentiate public relations from content marketing, or just marketing in general. The lines are, of course, blurred. Is there a point in having different terminology when it all falls under the umbrella of communicating with your audience?

Susan Payton


@Susan above: You'll find that PR and marketing are increasingly working closer, especially with the rise of digital content/marketing and social media. I would say that PR is a function that supports marketing. In corporate settings, you'll find "marketing communications" being used as a job title more often; a blend of marketing and PR that both fall under the umbrella of communications.

Grant Crowell

Thanks for this insightful article and the choice picture, David. I would like to hope the term "public relations" can evolve into something more appropriate for the values that you share, such as "personal relations." That would offer a much better distinction from media relations. Media relations is about going viral, while personal relations is about being helpful.


Agree. One. Hundred. Per. Cent.:)

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for these comments. I was in Colonia, Uruguay all day and had an evening party here in Buenos Aires so was unable to get to the blog.

toscana - you should demand your money back for that class!

Jean - We're all making this stuff up as we go along. Always in a revolution we struggle to find the right way. Keep pushing forward and anything that works, do it again!

Egg and Synocure - I do think they are converging online - so much so that I would not have two departments. I would have a media relations expert though. However in an offline world, PR and marketing are still separate.

Trevor - from a pioneer like you, I appreciate it, mate!

Alex Yong

Thank goodness we're making the rules up as we go along because I'll never know who made up the old rules. The professor mentioned by toscana is probably a very frightened person hoping that the old rules won't go away. That's unrealistic. Everything changes. Anyway, this quote always makes me smile. "Advertising is saying you're good. PR is getting someone else to say you're good." - Jean-Louis Gassee. I'm not saying it's the definition of PR, it just makes me smile. Thank you for this article David.


But it's also a lot more than content, David. it's behaviour too, See http://www.chelgate.com/public-relations/

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