What is the Difference between PR and Marketing?

The difference used to be easy to explain. Marketing supports the sales team, while PR supports the larger brand. Marketing handles advertising, while PR handles press.marketing

Thanks to the advent of social media, the lines have become more blurred. Different companies use their social media platforms in different ways. You could be tweeting at journalists one second and dealing with a disgruntled client on Facebook the next. And, the smaller the company gets, the more those lines overlap.

A major differentiator is paid vs. earned media. PR focuses on earned media, which gets you third-party endorsements that lend enormous credibility to your brand. Marketing develops specific, focused advertising and buys slots on various media. It’s easier to control, but it’s probably not as powerful as a journalist deciding you have a story worth telling.

On any given day, you might find a PR professional:

  • Writing a news release about an upcoming product launch or a new company initiative
  • Pitching positive stories about upcoming company announcements to the media
  • Securing speaking opportunities for executive at industry events
  • Building relationships with the media and top decision-makers
  • Managing and updating company messaging
  • Creating talking points and speaking to the press about a company crisis

On that same day, you might find a marketing professional:

  • Creating an advertising campaign for a new product
  • Buying advertising slots on radio, TV, or online
  • Creating materials for product launches
  • Conducting industry and client research to help develop marketing campaigns
  • Drafting a weekly newsletter for clients

Add Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest into the mix, and you can get alphabet soup.

For the purposes of B2B public relations, the solution is simpler. You need both PR and marketing. You need cooperation and communication between the two to ensure consistent strategies and messaging. And you need a cohesive strategy that takes into account all aspects of your message and utilizes the strengths of both marketing and public relations.

It’s not marketing vs. PR; it’s PR and marketing.

At Ripley PR, we help our clients develop and execute public relations and marketing strategies to improve exposure and gain more customers. If you’re ready for a cohesive communication strategy that gets your business more exposure, give us a call at 865-977-1973.



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