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Marcomm? What's That? - Articles Surfing

I've been a 'marcom' professional for more years than I care to admit. And to this day, when asked what I do for a living, marcom elicits a quizzical look, or a hmmmm, or simply the next question in the series, 'what's that.'

Say you are a crisis manager, teacher or even a publicist, and the questions end there ' the name pretty much communicates the job description. Not so with a marcom professional.

I used to give my '60-second pitch' explaining that marcom is short for marketing communications, and that it simply means that I assist clients with their communications, marketing, and outreach activities.

'Oh, - you are in public relations.' Well, that's part of it. 'I see ' you are in advertising.' Sometimes I create or manage advertising. 'Uh-huh ' marketing, so you're in sales.' In a way, sales from the standpoint that I communicate who and what my clients are and do, and inform their targeted audiences of what they have to offer. But,not sales in the general sense of the word.

Inevitably, these conversations eventually circle back to, so what exactly do you do?

I looked on the Internet for a definition of marcom, and found this one from http://Whatis.com:

Marcom is an abbreviation for "marketing communications." Marcom is targeted interaction with customers and prospects using one or more media, such as direct mail, newspapers and magazines, television, radio, billboards, telemarketing, and the Internet. A marketing communications campaign may use a single approach, but more frequently combines several.

And that didn't quite do it for me, because I felt it relies too heavily on mass media, and not enough on one-on-one, community, and word-of-mouth messaging. It leaves out branding, events, coaching, and much more.

So, I've worked hard to perfect my own clear, concise explanation of just what a marcom professional does. In short,- communications. That's it, one word ' communications. My counterparts and I take the talking points or messages of a client or individual project, add in some research and find the very best combination of venues for getting these messages to the folks who want, need or will use them in the most timely and cost efficient way.

Marcom professionals are an interesting breed. Most of us do have our specialties ' brand development and management, writing, project management, media relations, crisis communications, research, community relations, events'.the list goes on. But, old school marcom folks like me are considered 'generalists.' We have, and can do all of the above ' and more.

What's more, a seasoned marcom professional readily moves among clients (or employers) in most any industry. There may be terminology and nuances to master, but communications skills are communications skills for the long term. I've had the good fortune of successfully representing quite a diverse array of clients such as: promoting the North American premiere of a new show by a Tony-Award winning composer; planning and managing the grand opening of a well-known manufacturer's new factory; crisis communications during a labor-union dispute; producing TV and radio ads about substance abuse; and managing extensive research on the awareness Americans have of emergency preparedness.

So, there you go, I'm a marcom professional'I communicate'and thoroughly enjoy doing so.

Submitted by:

Gayle Wiegand

Gayle Wiegand heads up a marketing communications consulting group, Outreach Pros ' http://www.outreachpros.com . She has directed projects for private industry, not-for-profit, and government contracts. With an M.S. in Communications and a B.A. in Theatre, Ms. Wiegand has an extensive background in education, healthcare, entertainment, retail and hospitality. http://www.giftsalley.com is one of the ventures Ms Wiegand is involved with.



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