“Public relations and marketing. It’s all the same!” Our PR and marketing team would be wealthy if they got a pound each time they heard this. 

It may look that way from the outside because PR and marketing are often under the same management in a company or are part of one department. 

But what exactly is PR vs marketing? 

When does a company need a PR or a marketing campaign?

What are the goals of PR vs marketing? 

Is it better to separate PR and marketing teams or to bring them together?

We will answer all of these questions in our latest Monumental blog.

What is PR?

“PR” stands for public relations. Public relations is part of corporate communications or organisational communications for stakeholders such as customers, employees, media representatives and shareholders.

Public relations includes sub-areas such as:

  • Blogger and influencer marketing relations
  • Customer relations
  • Sales PR
  • Crisis PR

While marketing is primarily done for commercial reasons, PR is done for non-commercial organisations, government agencies, interest groups or political parties to interact and generate buzz within their target audiences.

What are the goals of PR

In simple terms, PR aims to put a company’s brand in the best possible light in the eyes of partners, customers and the public. 

Overall marketing campaigns heavily influence the goals decided within PR strategies. 

But as we will show later, there are various differences between PR and marketing efforts rather than a child-parent relationship.

What are the tasks of PR

Creating and maintaining a positive reputation and building and maintaining relationships are the most important tasks in PR.

This work falls largely, but not exclusively, to the PR specialist or PR team. In the sense of press relations, public relations primarily focus on building relationships with journalists and editorial offices relevant to the business to be promoted.

So, for example, our head of PR services, Liam, works closely with media outlets focused on digital marketing.

Press releases are written to communicate within different communication channels to announce:

  • Business developments
  • New products or services
  • Company figures
  • Or personnel changes within the company

Beyond this, PR focuses on:

  • Opinion forming, i.e. getting business partners and customers to have a good view of one’s company.
  • Having a dialogue with customers and prospects across all media channels.
  • PR campaigns
  • Forming a PR strategy when there is limited brand awareness
  • Doing a press release blast
  • Securing press coverage
  • Reputation management

What is Marketing?

The term “marketing” covers a range of strategies and corporate activities to make a brand, product or service appealing to the targeted sales markets. 

These include:

  • Branding measures
  • Target group analyses
  • Price management
  • Advertising campaigns, including digital advertising

So while the production department in a company is responsible for manufacturing the actual product, marketing encompasses all measures designed to present this product to the customer and persuade him to buy it.

What are the goals of marketing

Marketing can be used for different business goals. Therefore, it is important to define the goals before developing a marketing strategy properly.

Marketing can be used for branding and direct sales.

Sales marketing is primarily focused on economic goals such as:

  • Sales
  • Sales
  • Contribution margin
  • Profitability
  • market share
  • Profit
  • Price level
  • Degree of distribution

Branding or brand building has rather psychological goals in focus:

  • Awareness level
  • image
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer loyalty
  • Brand loyalty
  • Purchase intensity
  • Competence level
  • Buyer penetration

What are the tasks of the marketing team?

Customer, market and competitor analysis

At the beginning of the marketing strategy is the target group, competition and market analysis. Specifically, this means:

  • Market research and documenting the results
  • Conducting and evaluating customer surveys
  • Analysing competitors and their products in detail
  • Liaising with the sales team
  • Conducting and assessing market studies

All this is the task of a market researcher. Based on this, the product is first designed, and the product manager now comes into play.

Product planning and market launch

Based on the analysis and evaluation of the market researchers, a product portfolio is finally created. The tasks are as follows:

  • Creating product concepts
  • Product Planning
  • Preparing profitability calculations
  • Planning and executing the market launch process
  • Creating social media advertisements
  • Using email marketing for crafting individualised communications
  • Designing targeted advertising campaigns

This process is mainly carried out by the product managers, who nevertheless have to work together with research, production and sales to design and finally market the product.

Later marketing will aim to increase sales and better improve the sales funnel.

When does a company need a PR or a marketing campaign?

“When should I use PR and marketing?” 

We get asked this question a lot. 

PR and marketing have become increasingly intertwined over the last few years.

Nevertheless, when deciding on which campaign to focus on, we would recommend considering the following:

PR  | Marketing

Core Focus: Relationship & external presentation | Core Focus: Product & service

Builds on: Relationships with media | Creates: Social media and marketing campaign

Presented: Stories for media & news | Created: Logos & accompanying material

Earned media: (PRESS RELEASE) to reach customers | Paid media: to reach customers (e.g. Google and Social Media Ads

Earned media are free but are dependent on the one who publishes the article | Paid media costs money but can be controlled by marketing teams

Public relations can be seen as part of marketing in some instances, but it also goes beyond it. 

While a marketing campaign is created for a specific customer group and a concrete offer, PR manages the entire corporate communication and optimises the company’s holistic image in the public eye.

So, where marketing teams succeed by selling more individual services or products, successful PR convey brand building messaging successfully, increases brand awareness and presents a positive brand image. 

As already mentioned, this includes dialogue with partners, customers, authorities and others.

What are the differences between PR, marketing and advertising?

Marketing is focused solely on selling products or services to customers. Therefore, marketing is primarily aimed at increasing sales of products or incoming orders for services in short to medium term.

Public relations can be seen as part of marketing in certain cases but also goes beyond it. Whereas a marketing campaign is created for a specific customer group and a specific offer, PR manages the entire corporate communications and optimises the company’s overall image in the public eye. 

So, where advertising primarily sells individual services or products, successful PR enhances the entire brand’s reputation.

As already mentioned, this includes dialogue with partners, customers, authorities and others.

Why Invest in PR in addition to marketing

Why should a company invest in PR in addition to marketing if it can also buy its presence in the media?

The public learns about your company, products and services through the media. In addition, public relations teams work on your company’s image. A company with an excellent public image sells its products and services more efficiently. It is also a way of targeting specific groups that your company did not know before.

An immensely important point in PR is that third parties pass on the word about you and your business. This has a much greater impact than if you do it on your own.

Every company needs PR, regardless of its size!

Conclusion

What is true for other industries is equally true for PR and marketing: they are not rigid entities and evolve successively. Companies should recognise the value of the two disciplines and promote them accordingly. We should recognise the convergence of the two disciplines and use their synergies as an advantage. 

So anyone who thinks that marketing is the same as PR or that one can work without the other is wrong. PR is more of a partner in this game, like salt and pepper. 

Author

  • Liam is our resident PR whizz - helping our clients and Monumental to grow their media presence. Before starting his public relations journey, Liam graduated with a degree in Journalism from Roehampton University, with the knowledge of how the media operates. Flipping his journalist skills to work well within PR, he has been working in the industry for close to five years. He operates from the comfort of Warwick, the very same place that J.R.R Tolkien got engaged, and is a huge geek at heart. With a love for all things Marvel and Star Wars, we often find him freaking out about the latest blockbuster or TV show when he’s not working his PR magic. You can get in touch with him here: