Friday, February 24, 2006

An Ad Age Query About PR 

This came in the e-mail from Ad Age yesterday. It says something about the marketing business and PR.

Assessing Glaxo's Highly Unusual PR PlanBe a Part of the News:VOTE IN THE AD AGE WEEKLY ONLINE POLL> BACKGROUND: This week's Ad Age story "GlaxoSmithKline Drafts Employees toPolish Industry Image" (http://www.adage.com/news.cms?newsId=47970) revealedthat the pharmaceutical giant is so troubled by the worsening reputation ofits industry that it plans to turn its entire 8,000-person U.S. sales force into an aggressive public relations team. The controversial concept of using employees as "public relations ambassadors" was devised by Michael Pucci,GSK's vice president for external advocacy. One critical marketing executivesaid, "I'm not sure I want 8,000 people on the ground given that level of responsibility to basically speak for the company and an industry ... The odds say there's going to be a percentage of them ... that will make a mistake, or stray away from the script." What do YOU think? From the pointof view of GSK's management logistics or likely results, do you think thisis a practical strategy for drug corporations that now rank just above tobacco and oil companies as targets of consumer scorn?> THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Will Glaxo employees' advocacy for the drug industryimprove its image?> VOTE & COMMENT for possible publication in next week's print edition ofAdvertising Age at http://www.adage.com/poll.cms

You might want to vote. I find it interesting that marketers worry more about a loss of control than getting facts to the grassroots. In other words, "advertising is always better because you can define that copy precisely."

Some things haven't changed in the marketing world and the idea of interactive conversation is still scary.

Interesting post. I am sure many PR professionals are waiting for the Ad Age poll results with baited breath
Hey Jim,

You didn't tell us what your vote was? Thanks for pointing to the poll. I find it interesting that this conversation is taking place in Ad Age, it seems like this is an opportunity for PR to flex its muscle.

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