Renault-Nissan gives PR a bigger role

The news that Renault-Nissan is to merge its marketing and PR functions is just another sign of the impact that social media are having on the whole area of brand communications.

Renault has established a new post of chief marketing and communications officer while Nissan has formed a new global marketing communications division.

Time was when PR was regarded as the fluffy end of the marketing spectrum with all the heavy lifting being done by the serious types in charge of complex marketing plans and mega-million ad budgets.

Yet now that a carefully considered marketing strategy can be blown out of the water by a few Tweets or a damning video on YouTube, the big blue-chip consumer goods firms are recognising that there is considerable overlap in the activities of the marketing and PR functions.

They realise that all marketing programmes simply have to be multi-platform and multi-channel to compete in this challenging new world. The days of simply wrestling a good deal from the retailer, firing off a massive ad campaign and watching the sales figures rise are long gone.

Unilever and Aviva have already made similar moves and there will be plenty more in the next year or two.

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About David O'Reilly

David is a former deputy editor of Campaign and writer for a number of leading titles including Management Today and the Sunday Times. He is a partner in The Editorial Partnership.