It is the age old question… “What is the difference between marketing and PR?” This is often partnered by the question “Which is more important for my business?”
As the consumer and media landscapes shift, the difference between marketing and PR becomes more of a grey area rather than black and white. With the difference becoming less prominent, the definitions of marketing and PR have also changed significantly.
I am going to tell you a little secret… Marketing and PR are both forms of strategic communication for business. They complement each other like peanut butter and jelly. So you really can’t say that one is better than the other. They need each other to create a successful business strategy.
Before I go any further, PR is more than just media relations!
Here are a few ways that marketing and PR are complementary to each other:
Demographics & Psychographics
In marketing, the focus is on segmentation of consumers based on demographics and certain behaviours of each group. PR will take that information and go one step further to create meaningful connections based on how consumers think and what their belief systems are. (Discussed further in How To Create a Provocative Marketing Strategy)
Market & Environment
Marketing is all about readying a product or service to take to the market; it’s about consumer and demand and creating value. PR ensures that there is a favourable environment for marketing to thrive in; building a good image.
Content & Communication
Ultimately, if you are developing your marketing materials and strategy, the foundation lies in the creation of messaging and other content that highlights your business. PR takes that content and that messaging and communicates it to all internal and external stakeholders.
Controlled & Uncontrolled
Marketing materials and content are generally one sided “conversation” whereas PR generates dialogue. When you are putting your content out there, you have control over the messaging, but once you invite commentary or you involve the media, you give away part of that control.
Tangible & Intangible
Both are measured in different ways. Marketing metrics are based on facts and numbers such as revenues and profit margins whereas PR metrics are based on trust and loyalty, which is not always easy to measure.
As you can see, there are differences, but both Marketing and PR go hand in hand when it comes to growing your business. The most important thing is making sure you are developing and implementing an integrated strategy. This is why there is a grey area, it just doesn’t make sense to have one without the other. So the next time you are discussing your marketing budget, understand that PR is a part of that and it shouldn’t be neglected!