Recently I had a conversation with a young and motivated entrepreneur on ‘’how to do PR’’, and during the conversation I realized that he doesn’t have the idea of PR at all. Often meeting people from different fields who are much or less tied with marketing, I see that not all can find the difference between marketing and PR.
The concept of public relations (PR) means by its nature that you can not ‘’buy’’ PR in newspapers and magazines, either have reporter to say what exactly you want to hear from them. That is marketing: actually one of the tools of marketing; advertising. Marketing and public relations (PR) are two distinct business functions which are both important in your business development, depending on what stage your business is at.
The main difference between marketing and PR is that: marketing is limited to outward messages, mostly for the purpose of selling, while PR involves all forms of communication enhancing awareness of your product or service. I agree with all those who insist that PR is critical for entrepreneurs and start-ups, but, well, let’s sum up what you can get with each:
With marketing you get:
- defined target market that you know who to promote your products and services towards
- identified competitors with their strategies that help to you stay ahead by remaining competitive
- complete creative control over your advertisements and guaranteed date that they will run
With PR you get:
- credibility, mass media and large audience that help you to market your products and services by a third-part endorsement towards large audience
- a story that runs once or twice
less or no control over them and no guarantees and it can be time-consuming
Marketing and PR together
Many marketing and public relations departments of successful companies work in hand as they both work to keep the company and its products in a favorable light. As a rule these two business functions work better if they are clearly complementary – a strongly positive reputation makes the marketer’s job easier, while marketing activity affects a company’s reputation.
Reading this, many people now would ask me also ‘’ What if a company has experienced some bad press, how these two functions can do together in that case?’’. The answer is simple. Many PR professionals would agree with me if I say that doing a charity or organizing a fundraiser could be a good choice for the company to create some buzz around it. In addition, many marketers in the same time would work on new strategies that for every product sold, they will donate a percentage for fundraiser. The outcome I guess is clear: the public may be more apt to purchase products from this company rather than others because a portion of the profit is going towards a good cause.