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PR vs Marketing: Are PR and marketing the same thing?

By August 18, 2023November 28th, 2023No Comments

Many people get confused about the difference between PR and Marketing. The first thing to know is that they are not the same thing. PR focuses on creating a positive image for your company, while marketing focuses on selling products or services. 

What is PR?

Public Relations is all about maintaining a positive public image for a company, individual or brand. This often involves building a positive relationship with the media,  through media relations, event organisation, brand journalism and reputation management.

Another key part of PR is handling negative press. If your company or brand is involved in a negative story, a good PR department will do damage control, either by putting a positive spin on the story or issuing an apology. A good PR company will work reactively to both positive and negative stories, to ensure the brand maintains or builds a positive public image. 

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What is Marketing?

Marketing is all about selling. A good marketing team will focus on selling products or services to the company’s target audience. This may involve email marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing or content marketing. These marketing strategies will help introduce your target audience to the product or service you are selling. Eventually, that audience will build up a relationship with the company and hopefully become customers.

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Is there an overlap?

PR and marketing have very different objectives however there is some inevitable overlap between the two departments. Successful marketing relies on successful PR and vice-a-versa. The success of one hinges on the other. For example, without good brand awareness the marketing team will have great difficulty increasing sales and without good marketing good PR is almost useless.

Social media is a tool that both marketing and PR departments utilise. Social media can be used to build brand awareness and also to carry out targeted marketing campaigns. This makes it an incredibly valuable tool for both PR and marketing. For this reason it is incredibly important that your PR and marketing teams have a good working relationship. Both departments need to align their strategies to ensure a coherent brand image. Working in tandem will allow you to maximise your efforts to build positive relationships with your target audience.

What is the difference between PR and marketing?

Although there is some overlap between PR and marketing departments, the two teams should have very different goals. Here are some of the biggest differences between PR and marketing:

  • Audience –  PR and marketing teams are often trying to reach a different audience. The marketing team will be focused on reaching out to the company’s target audience to find new customers and encourage repeat customers. However, a PR department will speak to different audiences depending on the company’s needs. For example, a PR team might reach out to local journalists,  suppliers or other local businesses to ensure the company maintains a positive image in the media.
    1. Day-to-day work – Day-to-day, the work of a PR and marketing professional will look very different. Marketing professionals will spend time planning for product launches, planning marketing campaigns or conducting client research. Whereas a PR professional will be writing press releases, building relationships with the media and pitching positive stories about the company.
  • Aims – When PR and marketing teams approach their jobs they have very different goals. A PR team will be aiming to create a positive Image for the company and build good relationships with the company’s stakeholders as well as the relevant media. Whereas, a marketing team will be aiming to reach new customers and increase the sales of the company.

Success – These two professions measure success in very different ways. Success for a PR team may consist of positive buzz around the company or a successful press release. On the other hand, the success of a marketing team will be much more closely linked to an increase in sales.