If, as is shown in this diagram, PR enclosed all communications and marketing activities, then it acquires commercial significance at a stroke. A logical case for this is also apparent: since all marketing activities concern publics, then Public Relations is the natural sphere in which those activities should be managed. For this to be refuted, marketing would be forced to make the bizarre assertion that its activities do not concern publics! Seen this way, only a small portion of the PR activities are indirectly commercial.
To me, the following configuration is an obvious solution to the problem of ascertaining the role of PR in revenue generation:
A: corporate advertising (promotion of the brand, not a specific product) B: direct marketing and sales promotions (e.g. e-mail and freebies, respectively) C: distribution, pricing, and product development D: corporate PR (internal communications and public affairs) E: marketing PR (publicity and sponsorship, i.e. traditional public awareness activities) F: mass media advertising (traditional advertising)
Let's consider what is these days a heresy: Corporate Communication is separate to Public Relations. The two operate largely in isolation, similar to the Marketing and PR silos described in the A ("Apart"/"Silo") model.
We will call this Model X, and illustrate it using the following model:
In Model X, PR and Corporate Communication are separate. PR handles all communications targeted at external stakeholders; Corp Comm creates all communications intended for internal stake holders.
Simple? Perhaps. But in companies that offer technical goods and services, can such a separation be operationally realistic? Must there not be some informational overlap? If the public require product knowledge, yes. If internal communications contain product information, yes. Given the certainty of these practical requirements therefore, how can these two functions be isolated? Stakeholders - both internal and external - will have technical information requirements, but the model features no such explicit linkage illustrating the mode or source of this adhesive.
The article The Communication Advantage: A Constituency-Focused Approach to Formulating and Implementing Strategy (Argenti and Forman, 2000) addresses the issue of how senior management can utilize communication practice to ensure strategy is implemented. It presents a systematic methodology for conveying plans and visions to relevant audiences (“significant constituencies”). Such a methodology is necessary since foregoing studies have demonstrated how organizations fail or succeed depending on how they transform a strategy on paper into concrete manifestation. Many earlier studies do not clarify the link between strategy and communication. Furthermore, they present communication strategy obliquely, not as a central focus, and concentrate instead on communication as an element of strategy. The article responds to this deficit by theorizing as follows: