Proselytizing on PR’s behalf

I had the unique opportunity to address a group of chief marketing officers and advertising executivesImage810
yesterday at the Association of National Advertisers annual conference in Chicago.

It was a great platform from which to ‘spread the gospel’ among the uninitiated. As I sat and waited my turn to speak, I heard one senior Fortune 500 executive after another share best practices for ‘breaking through’ and connecting with customers via traditional advertising and other unconventional means (digital, word-of-mouth, outdoor and, oh yes, PR, or ‘unpaid media’ as one executive called it). There was some recognition of PR but, frankly, only in passing.

So, when I finally had the chance, I spoke about the unrivaled power of third party credibility, the role of partnerships in expanding awareness and reputation and why I believe PR is best suited to lead the digital discussion.

I saw a few nodding heads, a few blank stares and more than one scowling face. But, it was very cool indeed to be addressing a group of top marketing and advertising executives and having an unfettered and unfiltered bully pulpit from which to spread the gospel of all things PR. At the moment, I feel like the Joel Osteen or Billy Graham of the public relations world. Or, maybe I was more like a Christian in ancient Rome being fed to the lions? I’m not sure which.

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