PR vs. Marketing

August 10, 2021 By 0 Comments

Advertising is what you pay for, PR is what you pray for.

It is often assumed public relations (PR) and marketing are interchangeable, or that PR is a subset of marketing that sits under the same umbrella. While there is and should be a relationship between these two allies, there is also a distinct difference between the practices.

PR is the management of an organisation or person’s reputation. We work to create meaningful relationships for our clients and their publics, ultimately resulting in positive brand awareness.

Marketing, on the other hand, focuses on the promotion and selling of products, services, or ideas. A marketing team’s goal is to drive sales and influence consumers to carry out a sales-focused action. So, while client success is the goal for both disciplines, it’s about all they have in common.

To differentiate between PR and marketing, it is important to understand the difference between paid and earned media. In PR, we understand the media landscape and what makes a story worth repeating. Our ability to develop newsworthy angles, paired with knowing the right people, allows us to position a brand in a memorable (and credible) way.

Marketers are also communicators. However, marketing messaging typically has an actionable tone. Rather than just spreading positive brand awareness, a marketing or advertising campaign promotes a good or service and often includes a call to action.

PR and marketing can also be distinguished by who they communicate with. A PR team’s target audience is virtually limitless. Depending on a client’s needs, consumers, stakeholders, the media, and even employees could be the target audience. Marketers target consumers­­–prospective or existing.

To the untrained eye, PR and marketing might seem alike. And while their overarching goal is to achieve client success, it is how they do it that sets them apart.

Written by Caitlin Morarty, Account Coordinator