When Ward first entered the field of public relations over a decade ago she says that marketing and public relations were distinct from each other and typically stuck to their own area of study. Today, Ward says that there is so much integration between the two that is crucial for students of both fields to understand each other. She works to bridge the gap between public relations and marketing for her students.
“From a public relations stand point, the universities I have taught at are emphasizing strategic communication and the importance of maintaining social media much more,” says Ward.
One example of how the teaching of public relations has changed in the classroom is the way students are taught the PESO model (an acronym for paid, earned, shared, and owned). Ward says it has been altered since the rise of digital marketing. “Before paid was predominantly the focus of this model, but now shared is the most important and is looked at first,” says Ward.
She attributes this focus shirt of the PESO model to how influential and powerful sharing information on social media outlets has become. In fact, following social media accounts and blogs that are related to her field of study is one of the ways Ward stays current on trending topics. Additionally, she continuously attends innovative conferences, reads publications, and conducts research.
“This idea of understanding each other will only help students and build relationships. Public relations and marketing students are now working alongside each other, not independently,” says Ward.
Those who work in marketing and public relations have watched their fields begin to blend together over recent years. Professors who teach these fields of study have had to reevaluate and adjust their coursework to accommodate for the integration among fields that is happening.
To hear Ward further discuss this topic, be sure to get your tickets to the Digital Marketing Workshop on November 17 today!