Public Relations (PR) and marketing can easily lay claim as the perfect combination to achieve a company’s goals and fulfil its mission, however, there is often less certainty around what each brings to the table in terms of strategy.
Essentially, marketing is focused on helping businesses break into their target market so they can promote and sell products or services to them. Whereas PR can be defined as looking after reputation and brand awareness. It’s all about your true values and purpose and what you want others to say or think about you.
In marketing, there’s always room to modify and improve – but you never get a second chance at a first impression.
The goal of PR is to build trust and foster favourable relationships with a business or brand’s key publics, such as customers, employees, suppliers, investors, media and whoever else collectively support the organisation’s objectives. This can be achieved through various announcements and efforts ranging from promoting your positive news stories through press releases, social media announcements and features to a target audience, through to organising corporate events, exhibitions and speaking engagements. PR representatives also diligently schedule regular meetings with senior representatives of the local and regional media including TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines to seek out opportunities for the business. This integrated PR strategy often helps businesses position themselves as thought leaders and experts in their sector.
Above all PR activities strive to elevate and generate hype and buzz around a company’s successes, or on the opposite end to minimise the negative effects caused by an event or series of events. There’s plenty of different public relations activities that come into play when striving to improve and maintain goodwill within the community.
If you want to further delve into what PR is all about, here’s a handy beginner’s guide!
Marketing is a broad term that represents all the different efforts and activities that brands and businesses draw upon to get products and services in front of more eyeballs, attract new customers, and maintain solid relationships with existing ones.
When thinking about marketing, it’s best to think of it as a massive pie that marketers must determine what segments offer the best opportunities to a company. Depending on the segment of the market a company is looking to target, marketers use different marketing efforts and tactics to reach those specific groups of customers and meet their needs.
It’s for that reason that marketing departments encompass all different services. For example, graphic design, web design, SEO, paid media and Outreach are all marketing solutions that can provide great results.
Hopefully now that we have provided a clear explanation of what the purposes are of PR and marketing and the benefits each can bring to a business, the differences between them have become much more apparent. However, to provide even more clarity on what exactly separates the two, we will now dive into the key differences.
Although PR and marketing professionals both run campaigns to boost their promotional efforts, each has its own way of measuring its successes. For PR this defined by the mutually beneficial relationships they have built with key audiences. It is also measured by the reputation, enhanced prestige and favourable image that PR pros have been able to create, maintain and manage. Whereas marketing is about driving a company’s profit, revenue and sales through reaching consumers and making them think, believe or do some kind of sales focused action. Savvy marketing and PR professionals will integrate their strategies to achieve the best results.
As marketing and PR each have a slightly different focus, it’s understandable why they pursue different tactics and activities to achieve their goals. In the case of marketing, its mission is primarily to seek return sales, which involves promotional, direct marketing and advertising techniques to reach the ideal customer ideally as and when they need the product or service that you’re selling. Whereas PR focuses on generating positive media coverage and stakeholder communication in order to raise the company’s reputation, which in turn gives people the perception of better value and often garners more loyalty from customers.
Referring back to our pie analogy, the structure of PR and marketing is one key differentiator. Marketing itself can encompass an entire process and sector that different services come under and PR is a piece that fits into the overall marketing pie. Or for big businesses often have a marketing department with a team to service the different functions such as, a Designer that focuses on branding, a PR specialist to develop public relations strategies and implement corresponding tactics, and a social media expert that creates messaging for digital platforms.
Knowing more about what PR and marketing mean separately, we hope it’s helped with why the two are not simply interchangeable terms that can just be swapped for each other. Knowing how each function and can benefit a business also helps with figuring out how to best promote your brand.
If you’re interested in how PR and marketing can benefit your business – get in touch today!