I am often asked what the difference is between public relations and marketing. So what’s the answer?
There are various ways of looking at this. One is to say that public relations is about reputation and marketing about revenue.
At Arch Communications we use public relations to tell your story and build a positive reputation with your audiences. These include customers and service users, employees, suppliers, investors, media and other stakeholders. Sometimes this involves telling your story during a crisis to protect your reputation – but more often, it’s about building it for the benefit of your organisation.
The success of marketing can be linked to the income generated for you. It’s about selling products and services and includes online and print advertising, market research and direct mail. Its target audience is the customer.
And the way we measure the impact of each is different. Marketing is measured in sales while public relations is measured in your audiences’ perception of your business, brand and products. The latter is often harder to quantify.
However – there is a big ‘but’ here…
There is a significant overlap between public relations and marketing. In fact, PR is effectively just one tool in the marketing locker. It’s often an important part of an overall campaign, alongside advertising and direct marketing.
We find we use a combination of both marketing and public relations when working with clients. The two disciplines are complementary, and the rise of digital channels is blurring the lines between them even further.
An article in the local paper’s business pages will not make the phone ring on its own, but that story is all part of raising your profile and building your brand – so that people are more receptive to your marketing emails, blogging or advertising.
And so don’t get too hung up on the differences between the two. Use elements of both to create a tailored strategy to reach your customers and markets.
Understand which tools you have at your disposal, which ones work for your audiences and how you can share your story using them. If you’re not sure how to get started, talk to us!