Though PR and Marketing may seem similar, there are a few fairly distinct differences between the two – Cost and Control being two of the largest.
Traditionally, marketing emphasizes paid advertising and public relations emphasizes free coverage. However, the difference really isn’t that black and white. Though PR placements tend to be free of charge, there is often a monthly retainer paid to the firm for their time and effort. Generally, PR professionals seek to put a newsworthy spin on press releases so that relevant media outlets and freelance journalists want to cover their client. Conversely, marketing professionals seek to garner attention through purchasing advertisements or enacting paid social media campaigns, the cost of which can quickly escalate.
Marketing does offer control over the message being presented, but studies show consumers are becoming more and more skeptical of the advertisements they see. Public Relations, on the other hand, relies on well-crafted press releases to push media outlets and journalists to adopt a point of view and relay that message on to their audience. Due to this, the public tends to view these placements as more credible because the outlets tend to act as a filter for overly boastful statements made in many advertisements.
Though Public Relations and Marketing appear to be opposites when examined in this fashion, they tend to share similar goals and can be combined quite effectively. In fact, many firms, have started blending PR and Marketing strategies to bring their clients the best of both worlds.
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Janice McCafferty PR