Communications

Includes Corp Comm, Tech Comm, and PR

To me, this is the strangest, most illogical of the five models. The model describes the merging of Public Relations and Marketing into a single entity. In this model, the two are indistinguishable, at least conceptually. It is difficult to imagine, however, that the outputs of this hybrid would all be as much PR as marketing in nature and vice versa. There are, of course, marketing activities that have PR implications; and PR activities influence business performance so have implications for marketing. Nevertheless, the absolute equalisation of the two seems unfeasible or at least counter-intuitive if we accept the two are different, as older models declare and as certain current applications still suggest is the case.

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Companies who put Marketing inside (and by implication under the control of) Public Relations were once unusual. This is the inverse of the C-Mark model. Progressive currents in business theory propose such a model. Typical claims made in its support are premised on the concept that all business activity meets a public or a "stakeholder" one way or another, even if that public or stakeholder is an employee or a vendor, i.e. an "internal stakeholder".

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Kotler and Mindak (1978 – take note of that date) recognised five main models that describe how companies operate their Public Relations and Marketing departments. (You could also interpret these models as indicative of how a company’s structuring reveals its management’s perceptions of the two functions’ relative importance, similarity, and relatedness of the requisite skill sets).

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In communications terms, companies operating this model prioritize marketing or consider marketing to be the natural and functionally optimal environment for PR to operate inside. In other words, PR is operated as a function of marketing.

Notionally, for the anti-silo integration it implies, this model may appear positive. Indeed, for companies whose strategy is best served by allocation of resources to marketing and/or whose need for public relations is infrequent or challenging to justify through a cost-benefits analysis, this model could be superior to any other.

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In the second model, the two are still mostly separate in functional terms. However, a small proportion of the workload is describable as both PR and Marketing - a good example would be advertising, especially advertising as an element of a multi-channel campaign involving a celebrity.

This model indicates that management consider the two functions as generally separable. Only a small number of jobs require collaboration. Those jobs maybe regular, i.e. identifiable as a set category of jobs, but never constitute a quantity sufficient to dominate the workload of either function. The activities that require cross-functional working are so few and in commercial terms so trivial, all but this (and possibly the "Apart" model) are invalid. Thus, the separation of the two functions remains. The separation generates efficiencies that facilitate the company's strategy.

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Let’s begin with what I term the "Apart" or “Silo” model. This describes organisations in which public relations and marketing communications are regarded as separate, non-overlapping, discreet, and functionally distinct activities. In organisations that apply this model, “Public Relations” are probably handled by one team in one office; “Marketing” is the work of another team in another office. And never the twain shall meet.

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Maybe it is the unseen consequence of being the designated "writer". Maybe every foreigner is a de facto "translator". Maybe the company does not know who should be doing what. Maybe the company sees little value in labeling departments – as long as the work gets done. Maybe there is only one person in the whole company who can do communications competently. Whatever the reason, individuals who thought they were one kind of communicator can find themselves dabbling in a variety of communications work, inevitably with equally varied results.

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Quantification is a component of extreme importance in the field of technical translation. Numbers, in their many and varied guises, are responsible for a galaxy of translation mistakes. In English, small quantities are customarily counted in dozens; in Japanese, as tens, hence sūjū and jūsū, which are usually correctly, if not always appropriately, translated as “several tens” and “ten and several”, respectively. Although both are accurate in their expression of numerical value, both are alliteratively unnatural. A more effective translation would be “a few dozen” and “just over a dozen”, respectively. Just to confound things however, terms like sūman are usually translated appropriately, i.e. as "tens of thousands".

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All the following terms express future continuation, but their differences and degrees of appropriateness pose substantial challenges for technical translators:

shōrai (将来), kongo (今後), kongo mo (今後も), kongo tomo (今後とも)

For all three terms, the most frequently encountered English rendering is “in [the] future”. However, in most cases this is an over-translation. These terms, despite their standard, dictionary definitions, amplify a statement by suggesting, quite strongly, (to native Japanese speakers at least) emphasis or determination. As a result, these terms are usually best exempted from the translation. Forcing the translation can result in unintended meaning loss or meaning change.

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Early in the article, the authors declare that little current research focuses primarily on visual communication. Perhaps this is due to the divisibility difficulties their own case studies highlight, and because evaluating visual communication in stark separation from usability is an undertaking of doubtful practicable worth.[1]

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