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Michelle Wei

Michelle Wei

Fortune, 24 October 2005

Many people could confuse the presence of Michelle Wei on the cover of Fortune magazine as a straightforward marketing stunt. It's more than that--it's part of the public relations campaign of Michelle Wei and her sponsors.

People easily confuse public relations with marketing. In some organisations, the marketers actually perform high-end PR functions. Because of the fuzzy job descriptions often associated with a PR account representative, some have concluded that there is no difference between the two.

In her role as golf's golden girl, Michelle Wei may spend as much time selling the sponsor's brand as promoting the game. There is no way around it--her professional status has generated a bow wave of anticipation, supporting marketing, giving a smiling persona to a host of new products and services, publicising their uses, and promoting aspects of the brand. The support of Michelle Wei will help her sponsor's marketing teams achieve their results.

A smart public relations practioner helped position Michelle Wei on the cover of Fortune magazine, effectively trumpeting her as the new face of modern golf. Michelle's effective public relations work will translate into higher product sales for her sponsors and a larger viewing audience for golf tournaments. If she is to be an cost-effective addition to her sponsors, her presence on media covers and at competitive events will translate into higher product sales and enhanced brand recognition. It will be interesting to track those sales and brand awareness trajectories.