Korean Public Relations Practitioners’ Perspectives on Integrated Marketing Communications Implementation
Operant Subjectivity , Volume 30 - Issue 3/4 p. 137- 154
Since the appearance of integrated marketing communications (IMC) in the early 1990s, its differing characterizations as a ‘new marketing communication paradigm’ versus ‘nothing new’ or ‘management fad’ have not been fully settled. In practice, some organizations operating in Korea have adopted IMC and many marketing communication service agencies insist that their specialty lies in IMC. But from an academic perspective, the field does not seem to be that active here. Why is this? So far, most of the studies on IMC have utilized a quantitative research methodology and have focused primarily on enterprises and their advertising agencies in the areas of perception, implementation, barriers, evaluation and compensation and other individual elements. However, IMC depends as much on the cognitive and philosophical understanding of its practitioners as it does on their strategic or tactical capabilities. This study utilizing Q methodology sought to understand how public relations (PR) practitioners in Korea evaluate IMC in depth based on their experiences. Results show that Korean PR practitioners believe that IMC maximizes the communications effect and most advantageously takes into account changing market conditions. This study also confirmed that there are some barriers to optimum implementation of IMC in Korea such as low economies of scale, turf battles and insufficient top management involvement.