Ben Kucher writes in Ars Technica that in the gaming world, in-house PR pros are better than agencies:
Dealing with many people in the PR business is a painful affair. They only know the bullet points for each game, they become uncomfortable when asked substantial questions, and, way too often, looks are prized over skill. This doesn’t have to be the case. By cultivating your own PR team, hiring gamers who honestly love the product and know it well, and staying up to date on the industry as a whole, you’re guaranteed to have a PR team that more effectively talks to gaming writers, the mainstream media, and the gamers themselves.
Now let’s broaden this discussion beyond gaming, to the more general marketing practice. In my experience as a marketer at a few leading interactive-marketing and measurement companies, in-house PR and marketing is almost always the best way to go. But the dichotomy of in-house versus out-house prevents an even higher calling, a greater evolution of marketing within the enterprise.
What higher calling? On a pragmatic level, why not strategically view your entire company as your internal marketing team? Why limit imagination and opportunity through silos and top-down power structures. Sure, department structures help drive accountability. But if marketing is not fully embraced as part of every employee’s job, then the firm is strategically disadvantaged. Importantly, this idea doesn’t end with employees; it applies to external stakeholders like customers and partners, who should be counted as members of the team as well. As I’ve said before, marketing leadership is shifting from command-and-control to cultivate-and-coach.
I feel so strongly about this idea, I’ve made it my platform: Marketing is reputation, and the company is the marketing. Specifically, the goal of marketing is to build an authentic and stellar company reputation. Reputation creates tailwinds that drive business development, customer acquisition and loyalty, product feedback loops, human resource capital and market valuation. How does it all happen?
- Everything is rooted in a strong culture, well-defined values and a compelling brand.
- The culmination of all experiences created for stakeholders subsequently creates reputation.
- The role of the Core Marketing Team is to provide thought leadership, a framework and tools that empower and activate the entire organization to participate in advancing reputation.
What do you think?
(Credit to Peter Himler for discussing these issues and inspiring me to publish these ideas.)