The shift towards a global ‘communications’ division will see greater emphasis placed on communications’ role in brand building and social engagement. The unit will include brand PR, customer services, social media and media relations.
The move is in line with the companies efforts to make $1bn worth of efficiencies in marketing spend, as part of a wider $10bn cost cutting strategy announced in February.
It was prompted by the upcoming retirement of current global external relations officer Christopher Hassall in June.
The reorganisation affects the 1,200 strong ‘external relations’ division but there will be no job losses as a result of the changes. It does, however, see a number of communications personnel working in regulatory and technical matters moved to P&G’s research and development function, and a number currently working on government affairs will move into the legal department.
In a statement, the FMCG company said: “These are the right changes at the right time to leverage our synergies with R&D, legal and the brand building organisation, to stay ahead of changes in the external communications environment, and to ensure we are organized and prepared to protect and build the reputation of P&G and our brands in the decade ahead and beyond.”
Speaking to Marketing Week earlier this year, Pritchard talked about the importance of looking beyond what people traditionally think of as marketing, to ‘brand building’ including PR, digital, design and market research.
He said: “Marketing is often perceived as traditional TV advertising, and maybe a little bit of promotion. Brand building is looking at the purpose of a brand. It’s about identifying how that brand can touch and improve lives with its benefits and how you can then take those benefits and express them at the store level, in public relations, in digital, TV and print. It’s how you create experiences for consumers that include services, information, education and entertainment, so you build that entire brand experience.”
To read more about the role that PR and communications play in marketing, pick up next week’s issue of Marketing Week (31 May), which will include the second edition of PR Strategy – the supplement we launched earlier this year to champion communications.