First, let’s understand what PR or public relations is all about. To put it forth in a simple manner, PR works to help a business or individual create a positive reputation amongst the public. This may be by way of unpaid or earned communications and may span traditional media, social media, and also in-person engagements. PR plays a very important role during times of crisis and helps rebuild trust and clear the air.
Marketing is an activity that involves research and analysis of potential markets, selection of target markets, and developing a campaign to reach them. This could involve ATL (Above The Line) activities such as television, radio, print, social media and BTL (Below The Line) activities such as direct t marketing via SMS, emails, social media posts, pamphlets, sponsorships, events, in-shop promotions which include retailer pop-ups, visual merchandising, sampling and sales promotions. Outdoor promotions also fall under BTL and comprise, sign boards, hoardings, flyers, banners, bus back promotions and so on.
What are the key differences?
The ultimate goal of marketing is to reach out to current and potential customers by way of using different types on media which may range from print, radio, television to digital. The target audience is carefully selected and the media plan is drawn up based on this and the budget allocated. Public relations have a broader perspective and works to cultivate positive image relationships with almost anyone who is interested the organisation or brand. The audience therefor is much broader and includes the customers, employees, shareholders and the media.
The activities related to marketing are usually promotional initiatives such as events, direct marketing and advertising. The expectation is sales. PR is different as its aim is reputation management by triggering positive media coverage and stakeholder communication.
PR is perceived more trustworthy
One of the greatest advantages that PR has over marketing and advertising is that people perceive messages that come to them through PR channels such as articles, conference speakers or reputable bloggers as more trustworthy. This is because they are aware that the end game of advertising is to promote sales.
Meeting different needs
The needs of different kinds of organisations and businesses are what dictate whether PR or marketing will be of prime importance. For instance, a non-profit organization would accord top priority to PR since they would aim to achieve a favourable image with the public. On the other hand, with marketing and advertising with sales-driven activities would take precedence over PR.
How should they function?
PR must work by creating the story of your brand using press releases and pitching these to the right communication channels using a mix of traditional and online media. PR would also include the responsibility of building relationships with journalists, bloggers and social media influencers. Besides this, it is also expected to be part of activities and events that will attract target customers.
Marketing on the other hand must work through constantly monitoring market trends through research, analyzing consumer preferences and behaviour and crafting advertising collaterals. This would also push your of your product or service and expand the customer base.
Levels of control exercised
The kind of control you have over your message’s presentation is a major point of differences between marketing and PR. For example, when you purchase an advertisement, you have the prerogative of planning how the advertisement will ultimately look, the message, where it will be placed, and how this will be run. The extent of each your ad receives is majorly dependent on the budget allocated for the campaign. However, PR is a completely different ball game. You cannot exercise much control over coverage. The media holds the keys and decides how your information will be presented in the news and even make the decision if it will even be covered.
Advertising and marketing have shorter time frames for their goals. Their desire to drive goals is immediate and this could be a campaign to push festive sales for instance. In PR, the results may not always be immediate. It’s about considering the big picture and work to allow meaningful information reach people and about keeping this interest sustainable.
Success is measured differently
In marketing and advertising, success is measured by the increase in sales and ROI. This is easily measurable. Public relations professionals look at success quite differently; this is based on how a positive image has successfully reached the target audience and whether any mutually beneficial relationships have been arrived at. This is more difficult to quantify.
If you are on the hunt for PR solutions for your business or a communication professional looking for launch pad your talents. Here‘s how you can reach us.
CATALYST PUBLIC RELATIONS PVT. LTD.,
D 3, II Floor, Gemini Parsn Apartments,
599 Anna Salai, Chennai – 600 006.
Mobile Number: +91 98410 47455
Telefax: +91-44-2822 0008
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org