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He explained the role of public relations departments in hospitals to me in a very comprehensive and enlightening manner and yet managed to keep the discussion from going off the deep end. An example of this was his meticulous response to one question about the primary difference between marketing and PR. He responded by saying that though there exist clear differences between marketing and PR, still the line running between them is getting more and more blurred with time due to multiple factors. No matter how much confusing it gets to identify the line between the two domains, the differences continue to matter. It is important for a public administrator to acknowledge the ABCs of his/her job and what is required of him/her at work. It is essential to recognize the difference between communicating with investors or public and promoting the business. Often times when public administrators working at some healthcare facility are asked if they spend their time communicating with the public or advertising/marketing their healthcare setup, they answer that they are doing both which is where the line between PR and marketing gets blurred. Charles further illuminated me by identifying how the difference between PR and marketing matters more in large corporations or big hospitals than in small healthcare clinics. There is an entire department of people working at the hospitals to keep a check on release of earnings and communicating with the public which is why identifying the difference between PR and healthcare marketing matters more in big hospitals. Many times during his working at the local hospital, Charles mentioned how despite obvious differences marketing and PR at times became a function of each other and fueled each other. Based on his work experience, he told that at times, it gets practically difficult to separate one from another. Both marketing and PR are important areas as people working in both departments actually handle myriad activities to achieve same objectives and though the focus, strategies, and planning in both departments might differ, each is increasingly essential for the wellbeing of a hospital. Both PR and marketing require a different set of skills and focus on elements which stand in contrast to each other. “There are major differences between marketing and public relations that arise mainly from the view that the developments in relationship marketing and public relations are intruding in each other’s domain” (Stroh, 2007). Still for sustaining the growth and reputation of a big healthcare setup and because the awareness regarding the line of difference between PR and marketing is quite nebulous, it is critically important for the PR department to work in collaboration and concert with the marketing side. Separating these two departments from each other often becomes an issue when working in big hospitals but the need of the time is that both PR and marketing people know what is happening on the other side because not working in collaboration means weaker results due to unmet objectives. When I asked Charles about his opinion on how the set of skills and strategies for PR and marketing differ from each other, he began to discuss the differences by first claiming that both PR and marketing are management functions and both have the same primary goal to promote the business. They differ in ...Show more


Healthcare Marketing: Antoine Charles is an extremely serious and professional public relations administrator at the local hospital. I found him to be a scintillating example of a workaholic who is not only very passionate about what he does for a living but also has a remarkable insight into elements which distinguish public relations (PR) from marketing…
Author : emile26
Health care marketing
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