PR vs Marketing
Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Even among industry experts, the distinction between public relations (PR) and marketing can frequently become muddled. Many experts believe that both fields—which go by two distinct names but have the same objectives and results—are interchangeable. Both parties' ultimate objectives may be harmed by this kind of thinking. Although there are numerous parallels between these two communication styles, there are also significant differences. Additionally, CEOs and CMOs risk weakening and destroying their brands by viewing public relations (PR) as a natural extension of marketing.
Distinctions between PR and Marketing
The ultimate objective for marketers is often to produce leads. A successful marketing campaign can boost conversions and send sales chances straight to the bottom of the funnel.
You are missing the bigger picture if you believe that PR exists to increase conversions in the same manner that marketing does. PR is not a sprint; it's a marathon. The reputation of your business and the prominence of its executives are driven by a protracted process. PR may boost your marketing efforts. However, the actual advantage is far greater than that.
In general, the target audiences that PR and marketing teams focus on while creating communications vary.
Public relations teams aim to communicate with a potentially infinite audience. These teams may concentrate on the individualized or campaign-based consumer, stakeholder, media, and staff outreach. Depending on the company's current needs, a PR specialist might be creating customized investor communications at the same time that they are creating a press release blitz.
Assuming that the PR team is in charge of all internal communications, the audience that marketing teams aim to target is typically larger because this group is either addressing consumers or prospects. The marketing team may, however, take part in activities like ABM, digital advertising, or email marketing that center on segmenting and focusing on particular groups of either present or potential clients.
The way both departments define success in marketing and PR is another important distinction. PR experts evaluate whether they were successful in generating talk about the brand. Marketing, on the other hand, might examine the ROI from a recent campaign or whether a product fulfilled its sales targets.
Overlaps between PR and Marketing
Despite some very obvious distinctions, marketing and public relations cannot work independently of one another. The two departments must work together for success in the fragmented media landscape of today.
It will be more difficult to establish a successful brand reputation, or relationship, with customers if the good or service you are advertising has little brand awareness. Sales will probably drop as a result of this. By collecting press for the product or service and then building social media advertisements around that press, the PR and marketing departments might collaborate to raise brand recognition.
Influencer marketing and social media marketing are two strategies that PR and marketing teams are increasingly managing. Influencers and social media can be leveraged to launch focused ad campaigns and spread brand-building messages.
If done well, PR supports all aspects of your organization, not simply the marketing department. Any company's survival depends on its ability to build brand equity and visibility. As Bill Gates famously said, "If I had one dollar left over, I'd spend it on public relations."