What is the difference between marketing and PR? 

Since completing my degree in PR, I thought I was destined for a life doing PR and PR only. That was until I got a job as a marketing assistant. 

It was only since doing this role that I truly understood the difference between marketing and PR. So… Let’s get to it:

Focus – at base, marketing focuses on products and services while public relations focuses on relationships.

Function – both marketing and PR are management functions. The two serve different purposes, however. Marketing is a line function that directly contributes to an organisations bottom line. PR is a staff function that indirectly supports an organisations goals and objectives.

Target – marketings target is the customer. Marketers strive to meet customer demands in order to move goods and services from producer to consumer. PR targets a range of publics and goals that collectively support an organisations objectives.

Carryover benefits – PR contributes the organisational success by building and maintaining a positive social, business and political environment. Studies show a customer’s favourable perception – shaped by positive, well placed news coverage (likely generated by PR) – benefits and ‘lifts’ an organisations marketing and price promotion strategy. Interestingly, such carryover benefits are not reciprocated by the other marketing functions.

Paid, earned and owned media

Paid – this marketing mainstay includes print, radio and television advertising. Paid media plays a major role in the marketers campaign strategy and consumes the bulk of most marketing budgets.

Owned – this includes websites, blogs, Facebook and twitter profiles. It hasn’t been established which function holds the key to social medias kingdom.

Earned – earned or ‘free’ media is part of the PR professionals playbook. It includes word of mouth transmission via social media

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