Tuesday, February 24, 2004


We were discussing two communications departments yesterday and trying to figure out how they could run better if we had our way in reorganizing them. After a while, it struck me that no matter how they were organized, they wouldn't run better. There is a lack of managers who can integrate media.

We have media relations specialists, event specialists, issues specialists, web specialists, writers, promotions specialists and on and on. We don't have managers who have had experience in PR, IR, direct, advertising, Web, e-mail, etc. and who know how to put these disparate media together in powerful combinations that transmit messages effectively. In fact, as far as we could tell while talking the issue over, no communications discipline has that kind of managerial talent. This has been a sore point with the media conglomerates for years. They need account managers who integrate messages and media effectively: They don't have them.

This is why inclusion of the Web, among other disciplines, has moved slowly. Few understand how to integrate it into a media mix. That is also why our advertising brethren continue to rely on the 30-second spot and why PR practitioners like myself stay with pitching reporters at traditional media.

We don't have media integration: We still have media dis-integration. I wonder how long CEOs will put up with it before they look across disciplines for managers who can make communications run well.

We were trying to think where such individuals could be found. All we could agree upon is that they are unlikely to be in communications.


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