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Is it a surprise PRs are getting top marketing jobs?

Following John Lewis’ decision to promote Peter Cross (ex director of comms) to director of customer experience, Finn’s Matt Bourn, partner and director, London, tells Marketing Week his view on why PRs are well placed to lead a marketing department.

The age of the PR-minded CMO

So are we now in an age where a PR is better positioned to lead a marketing department than a more traditional marketer? Matt Bourn, director and a partner at Finn PR, believes so.

He says the rise of emotive storytelling means PRs are better placed to lead marketing departments. He tells Marketing Week: “The old way of advertising was to stop, interrupt and tell you something, but that’s either dying or dead now.

“PRs are disciplined and because they are used to regularly dealing with journalists who are hard to impress, they understand it’s about engagement and emotive storytelling rather than interruption. A PR is considered and disciplined in how they deal with brand building and that’s the approach every major brands is prioritising right now.”

Dealing with risk

Yet, had a PR taken lead on Pepsi’s controversial Kendall Jenner ad, Bourn claims the risk would have been “significantly lower”. In an era where a crisis is always just around the corner, he says having a PR take responsibility for a brand means crisis can be more easily averted.

“It is instinctive in a PR’s DNA to second guess what could go wrong with content. A PR’s default position is to weigh up what could go well and what could go wrong,” he explains. “That’s crucial nowadays.”

To read the full piece head to Marketing Week online:


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