Council of PR Firms Publishes an Advertorial To Target Marketers

This week, the Council of Public Relations Firms has published a “Branded Content” special in Ad Age titled ‘The PR Factor 2011,”  which you can also find online here.

According to the opening, authored by Council chairman and Weber Shandwick president Andy Polansky: “We created this special section to cue marketers in to how public relations is taking a more prominent place in integrated marketing campaigns and to take a look at what this means for the overall marketing services industry. It also highlights the variety of ways in which CMOs and brand managers can partner with PR firms to drive results.”

The section includes four articles such as one on trends predictions for 2012 and another on the steps PR is taking to meet the needs of the new marketing landscape.

But is it oxymoronic for a PR organization to run a “special advertising section” in an advertising trade publication to talk up PR?

“I’m baffled as to why a trade association representing a profession for whom delivering credible, legitimate earned media coverage is a key core competency decides to promote itself via a paid advertorial,” Lloyd Trufelman, president of Trylon SMR told us via email.

However, according to the Council, this relationship has been around for a few years and is meant to target the marketers that serve as PR clients. We reached out to the Council and got this statement in response:

This is the third year that we’ve partnered with Ad Age for the “PR Factor.”  We have found that our members want to be where the marketing clients are, and the visibility has been good.

Some other things to keep in mind: The Council of PR Firms doesn’t pay for it – this publication is subsidized by the advertisers.

I’m sure you are aware that PR firms do a lot of business in the marketing space, and Ad Age has a strong track record drawing that audience, so it makes perfect sense for Council members to be showcased in this publication.

We are not exclusive to any one publication, audience or message. In fact, on Thursday PRWeek will announce the winners of the inaugural Diversity Distinction in PR Awards, a program that we are proud to sponsor in conjunction with PRWeek.

Our members want us to be advocates for them and the work they do, and to do our best to get our messages across to potential purchasers of PR services. To date, the PR Factor, along with many of our other marketing initiatives, has helped achieve this mission.

What are your thoughts on this advertorial? Feel free to share them in the comments, on Twitter, or on Facebook.