pr vs marketing

What’s The Difference Between PR and Marketing?

Imagine you’ve been a part of a multi-national company that has a great reputation for its services when suddenly your boss says PR and marketing are one and the same.

We cannot facepalm hard enough to how ridiculous that sounds! Surprisingly, this isn’t that uncommon of a case, as a lot of people do not understand the difference between PR and marketing.

Although it seems very simple and obvious, stating their differences is something we felt is important. So, if you are someone who has been violently searching for the differences between public relations and marketing, you may end your search now.

In this article, we will explain the major differences and what traits make the two unique, as well as the similarities that might make them appear the same. Without further ado, let’s dive into this breakdown of the differences!


Public Relations (PR)

Public Relations

PR or public relations is the maintenance of a certain favorable image of a company, business, or individual for the greater good. To explain this definition further and to better make you understand the difference between PR and marketing, let’s take a look at an example.

Samsung is a tech giant that has an extremely high reputation for its products and services. Other than providing those amazing products, they are required to maintain positive relations with the other tech giants.

Also, providing great customer service, not getting involved in any sort of controversy and whatnot, all are parts of keeping a good public image. And maintaining all that is public relations or PR.

You can also have a look at the difference between policy and procedure.




Now, let’s talk about the other end of the spectrum. Marketing is essentially promoting a certain product that just got announced by a brand and showing people why they should purchase it.

This is basically done with the intention to sell more products and gain more and more customers. Marketing is done by means of advertising, holding launch events, meet and greets, and digital marketing.


Why People Get Confused

While the difference between PR and marketing is evident, many people think they are the same thing. One major similarity between the two is that they both involve promoting a brand’s image to some extent.

The former deals with maintaining a reputation as a whole, while the latter tries to improve it and gain a more loyal customer base.

As both of these are somehow connected to portraying the brand in the grandest way possible, most people assume that both are the same. Or maybe mistake public relations for marketing.

We don’t necessarily blame the general people for making this mistake, but sometimes we see professionals of either field do it too, which is embarrassing if we’re honest.


PR Vs. Marketing: The Differences

To make the differences even more clear, take a look at these points that make each of the two unique.


Target Audience of PR

PR deals with a much wider range of audiences compared to marketing. The reason behind this is looking at the bigger picture. PR mainly involves working with long-time customers, the media, competitors, employees, shareholders, and all other stakeholders.

The goal is to create and maintain a positive image of the company and not promote a particular product; rather, promote the company itself, if that makes sense.


Target Audience of Marketing

Marketing mainly deals with customers and competitors to some extent but in opposite ways. When marketing is done for a product that’s launched by the brand, it is conducted with the sole purpose of getting people to buy the product.

And this marketing is done in a way that may beat the competitor, so in a way, they are a target audience too.


Stuff PR Professionals Are Required to Do

A job of a PR is not as simple as it may seem. No, you don’t just sit around all day and be nice to everyone; it’s not that simple. Some of the tasks that a PR professional has to do pretty much on a daily basis are:

  • Writing press releases for upcoming products that are going to be launched or any initiative being taken by the company that will be announced.
  • Reaching out to the media trying to pitch any positive story or accomplishment of the company
  • Repeating the above task and getting it to the point where a good relationship has been established with the media
  • Holding more and more industry events and trying to secure opportunities for speaking for company executives
  • Managing any contact portals of the company and responding to messages and whatnot
  • Coming up with ideas and points that will be spoken of during press conferences


Stuff Marketers Do

A marketer’s job is just as difficult and daunting as a PR representative’s. Here are some of the things marketers do to promote a product:

  • Producing adverts and making sure those are being broadcasted on every possible media platform
  • Getting hands-on advertising slots from relevant media companies and platforms
  • Making sure various promotional materials such as brochures, catalogs, merchandise, etc. are being produced and provided to potential customers
  • Coming up with FAQs for websites and brochures
  • Reaching out to influencers for further marketing
  • Creating sales funnels for clients


How Do You Know You’re Doing a Good Job?

difference between marketing and public relations

Whether you are a PR professional or a marketer, any kind of profit made will positively affect the company. Here are some of the things that determine whether you are doing a good job in your field or not.


Business ROI

Most credit for this one goes to marketers. When the ROI or return on investment is high from promoting a product, you can pat yourself on the back for doing a good job.

What this basically means is that, with a low amount but the right kind of effort, you generated more sales and made more profit for the business. So, if you made sure the product that you marketed exceeds the sales goals, you’re doing your job right.

This is actually a difference between PR and marketing; marketing kind of shows immediate results, whereas it is kind of the opposite for PR.


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Here’s one for the public relations team! If the company you work for is earning various awards at industry events, you’re definitely nailing it at the PR department.

A company does not simply win awards just by selling good products. While that is very much essential, a good public image is crucial for a brand going forward. And this makes it win even more awards, and a lot of the credit goes to the PR team.


Organic Promotions

This one goes to both, actually. When a product makes great sales and the demand for such products increase, you will notice the company being promoted by everyone.

The PR professionals get credit for creating the brand image, while marketers ensure maximum sales of products. All this results in huge buzz from media, social media, journalists, influencers, and pretty much anyone who knows of the brand.

You will see lots of publications and broadcast outlets promoting the company as well.


Anyways, we hope that clears it out for you. Are you still confused about the differences between PR and marketing? We don’t think so.

However, if you want us to tell you things in a nutshell, marketing is when you focus on a certain product and promote it. PR, on the other hand, is all about maintaining the brand loyalty and reputation a company holds.

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