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Marketing vs Public Relations (PR) : Activities, audiences, Goals, messages, ROI and Longevity

Explain the difference between “marketing” and “public relations”, especially as it applies to your new company.

What is 'Marketing'?

Marketing refers to the activities of a company associated with buying and selling a product or service. It includes advertising, marketing and delivering products to people. People who work in marketing departments of companies try to get the attention of target audiences by using slogans, packaging design, celebrity endorsements and general media exposure.

What Is 'Public Relations (PR)'

Public relations is the art of managing how information about an individual or company is disseminated to the public. PR also involves managing a company's reputation in the eyes of its customers.

Here is our comparison between PR and marketing:

1. Activities/tactics:

Marketing: covers promotional, direct marketing and advertising.
PR: covers reputation management, positive media coverage and stakeholder communication.

Target audiences:

Marketing: aims to reach current and potential customers.
PR: maintaining positive relationships with organisation or brand.

Goals:

Marketing team: reach consumers and make them think, believe or do some kind of sales focused action.
PR Team: selling the company or brand through positively managing the communication channels between a company and its stakeholders.

The legitimacy of messages:

PR: Messages delivered channels such as articles, conference speakers or reputable bloggers.
Marketing: Generally, people can plainly recognise that advertising and marketing are driven by a company’s desire to increase sales.

Business ROI:

Marketing: paid branding and promotional activities with new customers being the ROI.
PR: classified as free exposure for increasing credibility around a company’s image.
It is usually more difficult to measure ROI for PR consulting than it is for marketing because it’s harder to demonstrate a change in perception or beliefs, as opposed to direct sales.

Longevity:

Marketing: relatively short-term activity
PR: benefits over a more extended period of time.
While marketing seeks to drive instant, tangible sales success, the benefits of a PR program can be viewed as a long-term investment that a company would recognise for future achievements

Khabza Mkhize

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