• Nathalia Cruz Ortiz

4 Reasons why PR is not Marketing

You've probably heard the phrase "marketing" used interchangeably with "public relations" numerous times. However, are they identical?



While marketing and public relations complement one another and can achieve a similar goal, they are fundamentally different. The distinctions are primarily in how marketing and public relations contribute to an organization's success via strategic methods, segmented audiences, message development, and organizational-wide goals.


Distinction #1: Tactics When marketing to the public sector, the basic technique is to target a specific audience with promotional material. Marketing uses different platforms to distribute promotional content, including email, social media, blogs, billboards, and television advertisements. Whereas public relations methods typically comprise a targeted media plan that includes sending press releases and pitches to journalists to secure periodical coverage.


Stakeholder communication is also critical to any public relations plan. It can use via a variety of venues, including social media. The strategies vary according to their intended audiences: marketing is directed toward citizen action, whereas public relations focuses on the stakeholders.


Distinction #2: Segmented Audiences Marketing and public relations are strategies to reach out to various demographics. Marketing is often used to reach an audience to engage, re-engage or elicit participation to affect your outcomes. Because public relations is primarily concerned with reputation management, its target audiences include one or more stakeholders. These stakeholders can be investors, customers, legislators, event sponsors, employees, community partners, or others. A solid public relations campaign segments its target and connects with them via sponsored or earned media.


Distinction #3: Message Development Typically, marketing messaging is defined as material with an actionable tone. Consider the most recent email you received from your favorite apparel brand - it almost certainly included phrases like "50% off discount" or "Hurry before they're all gone! We employ a similar tone in public relations and use Calls to Action (CTAs) to entice our audience. Public relations messages are often repeated with a positive but factual tone. Bloggers, news features, speakers, and podcasts are all presenting a story to develop that story in a way that improves a company's reputation.


Distinction #4: Organizational-Wide Objectives Ultimately, marketing and public relations are used in the public sector to attain various objectives. Marketing is directed at present and prospective members of your audience, but it also wants a result. In other words, marketing is designed to broaden the reach of an audience and ultimately drive a specified measure, which is profit. Public relations is concerned with preserving or enhancing an organization's reputation and employs external platforms to convey a story, build credibility, or sway the public's opinion on a subject. The objective here is to generate earned media coverage to raise your audience's and stakeholders' awareness of your organization, service, or campaign to promote a particular position or opinion. Both marketing and public relations are critical components in achieving positive revenue goals. While they can work in tandem as part of an integrated approach, it's critical to grasp the distinctions of tracking each strategy's progress.


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