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Public relations and marketing have been mistaken for each other, even by professionals in these industries. Public relations and marketing have clear distinctions even despite similar goals, objectives, and tactics. Marketing is aimed at driving sales, and this aim is achieved by promoting services, products, or ideas. On the other hand, Public Relations is driven by managing the reputation of a brand, company, or organisation.

Here are five ways in which Public relations distinguishes itself from marketing;

  • They have different goals: Public relations objectives resonate in selling a brand, organisation or company by promoting a positive reputation through various communication channels with the public and stakeholders. Marketing objectives are focused on reaching consumers with the sole goal of driving sales and increasing the revenue generated for the organisation.
  • They have different metrics for measuring growth: Public relations records growth using the metrics of how many awards won, Positive media visibility generated, engagement recorded, and the sentiments of the received coverage. Marketing records growth using the metrics of overall marketing and advertising campaigns ROIs, Sales recorded, and traffic generation for product or service.
  • They have different target audiences: the audience targeted by public relations are endless. Public relations audiences include stakeholders, employees, the media, consumers, and even the government. Marketing target audiences are solely the customers and prospective customers.
  • The daily activities of the industries differ: The daily activities in Public relations include press release writing, communication management, pitching for public speaking opportunities, media relations management, crisis communication management, and reputation management, while marketing daily activities include advertising campaign creation and management, traditional and digital advertising placements management, industry research, social media management, sales pitching, website management and digital marketing efforts.
  • Communication and media: Communication in Public relations is two-way communication with the media earned i.e the media gained is free as publicity is done by third-party endorsements such as press conferences, speeches, press releases and word-of-mouth, while communication in marketing is one-way communication with the media being paid for. This paid media include Radio, print, and television advertisement.

Although PR and marketing are similar, they are distinct and cannot be interchanged for the other. However, a brand that combines the two would enjoy effective communication management with its stakeholders, public, and consumers.


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