Public Relations Demystified | Christina Motley LLC

Public Relations Demystified – What’s the Difference Between Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising? (Part 2 of 3)

The terms – marketing, PR & advertising – are confused, intermingled and often used incorrectly. Here’s the second blog in a 3-part series to help set the record straight.  Part 1 clarifies marketing. Here, we demystify the meaning of true Public Relations (PR).

When it comes to running a business, executives often perceive marketing, Public Relations (PR) and advertising as one in the same. In a recent discussion of this topic on LinkedIn, members of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the differences between marketing, PR and advertising. Summarized below are their responses.

What is Public Relations (PR)?

PR does not belong to the company. It belongs to the media outlet and their audience. Staff on the public relations team develop communications that become “owned” by the people and media to whom communication is distributed. (It’s their story.) The goal of PR is building relationships with targeted communities to raise brand awareness. By definition, public relations is the business of inducing the public to have understanding for and goodwill toward a person, firm or institution.

PR can function independently of other promotional efforts as well as support a variety of purposes. For example, PR can complement marketing  objectives, influence business goals or even strengthen political aspirations.

Similar to marketing, PR professionals create and enhance marketing messages and develop effective strategies to deliver them to the intended target audiences. PR professionals also develop, build and maintain relationships with targeted constituencies, including media outlets and potential customers; plan events and campaigns to communicate effectively with the public at large, to raise awareness and to enhance a company’s overall brand presence.

Examples of PR include pitching story ideas to media outlets with the goal of earning editorial coverage about a company, its products or services; holding a press conference, conducting public speaking engagements, sponsoring special events; or changing a specific audience’s perception regarding a specific topic. Like marketing, PR encompasses both traditional online and offline communication channels as well as social media channels. You can see examples in our Press Center.

By combining a strategic communications mix, or Integrated Marketing  plan, a company will achieve the most successful results.

Stay tuned for Part 3, which will dive into advertising. In the meantime, if you need help building a strategic, integrated marketing communications plan or managing your marketing, public relations and advertising efforts, contact us today at 919-208-0963. We we will even send you a complimentary list of  Public Relations Tips. 



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