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Aug 04, 2004

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Elizabeth Albrycht

I agree that PR works best when it is actively integrated into the entire marketing/sales mix. One has to be careful however, in drawing the boundaries between the different roles, as they are often fuzzy, given individual skill sets and the number of people in any marketing dept. Often times you'll find one or two people doing all of these things.

I'd hesistate to say that PR people "never" go direct to the core audience, because sometimes you have to. But I do agree that in most cases "leverage and amplification" are the way to go.

PR folks should be a bi-directional channel between the corporation and its publics, making sure communications are moving in both directions. However, the reality in many organizations is that PR is often kept at arm's length from the company. Even from marketing! You are given your marching orders (flack this) and don't talk to us again until you get us the cover of Business Week. I am exaggerating, of course, but the point is that companies still have a long way to go to better tap the value of PR.

That being said, I don't think that PR's role (in most cases) is to help a company build a better product. They can make sure the feedback is getting to the product managers, and create ways for customers to interact with developers, but that is as far as it goes.

Obviously, I agree that a good product is easier to represent than a bad one. That being said, no product is ever perfect, and if you have some nuggets of gold to work with, and an honest company trying to make things better, you can do good work.

Robb Hecht

This is well-written commentary. I'd love to learn more about your background.

Javis Lounsbury

Product management really has an important function in the field of business. If a product is not handled carefully with all those tests, studies and samples, it will not reach the highest peak of its sales. I think it goes hand in hand with marketing the product. Once a specific product is made, promoting it comes next. It's of great significance to strategically manage the product, especially in manufacturing businesses.

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