As a full service public relations, marketing and communications firm, we often get asked, “So.. what’s really the difference between marketing and PR?” The short answer? Not a whole lot, but there are definitely distinctions between the two that we would like to expand on.
Let’s start with the official definitions:
Marketing: the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. –The American Marketing Association
Public Relations: a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. –Public Relations Society of America
The fine lines that separate marketing from PR really revolve around the fact that marketing has a main goal of sales and profit, while PR focuses on the mutual understanding between the organization and its publics along with positive perceptions. In terms of measurement, marketing looks mainly at the short-term results, while PR looks mainly at the long-term results that stem from meaningful conversations with potential customers.
Some activities that fall under the marketing umbrella include:
Those that fall under the public relations umbrella include:
- Media relations
- Crisis Management
- Social Media
As more and more of our activities have migrated online, the lines between marketing and PR have blurred even further. What makes the two go so well together is the storytelling aspect. Both marketing and PR work to communicate a story so that the organization can gain customers, drive revenue and/or foster positive perceptions.
Public relations creates an environment where marketing can thrive and vice versa. This is the “mash-up” of industries that we are witnessing. It’s all public facing, revenue-driven and necessary for long-term growth. Smart businesses shouldn’t choose between the two, but instead, incorporate them both. Watch out for this throughout 2014 – the industries are only becoming closer!