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Building Electronic Relationships 12

Public relations is often a form of strategic communication. Publics are

active. This is an important fact to consider during the formation of any

communication campaign. Publics should be held in the highest regard when

practicing any form of strategic communication, including public relations in

cyberspace (Botan, 1998).

MarCom (marketing communications) and PR often use the same tools.

Publicity, direct mail, trade shows, printed materials, and the nascent online

message must all be coordinated just as in MarCom. Some view PR is an

exquisitely finessed art, and perceive MarCom is a honed fusion of

disciplines, both achieving a similar effect, however.

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is perhaps not

universally applicable, but the tools of communication are shared, with

different skill sets used or emphasized within each discipline. There are

perceived threats to certain members of the communications family ushered

in by IMC. Still, interdisciplinary folks can be a valued resource for public

relations. Full integration is likely impossible, if not unwise.

Whether the approach is many-to-many, receiver-driven, access-driven,

or market sample of one, knowing your audience is key (Hortz, 1998).

The Case for Dual Tracks

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