Is Public Relations Part of Marketing?

Is Public Relations Part of Marketing?

Plenty of people find separating public relations and marketing quite difficult. In the last few years, social media platforms only managed to add to the confusion by blurring the lines between the two even further.

Most of the confusion regarding those two terms arises from their overlapping objectives and frequent collaboration.

However, while the main goals of PR and marketing might be related, there are big differences in the strategies they use to achieve those goals.

The main difference between public relations and marketing is that marketing is focused on promoting a specific product or service and increasing a company’s sales, while public relations is mainly focused on improving a company’s reputation and public image.

Target Audience and Focus

While both public relations and marketing tend to work towards improving the standing of a business, the strategies, measurement of success, and focus are very different between the two.

When it comes to marketing, the target audience is the current or potential customers.

On the other hand, the target audience of public relations efforts is all stakeholders, the media, as well as the general public. 

The primary focus on marketing is utilizing various marketing initiatives to increase sales for a business. 

The primary focus of PR is managing communication channels and messages to maintain positive brand awareness for a company, and to build strong and trusting relationships with its customers.

Success Metrics

While there might be many similarities in the goals of public relations and marketing, the way that each department measures success is vastly different.

When it comes to public relations, the way that it measures the success of its efforts is by generating positive media coverage and influencing a positive change in brand perception.

Generally, public relations is more focused on long-term results, which is why PR needs to be a long-term investment for companies.

However, when it comes to marketing efforts, the success of a company’s marketing campaign is generally measured by measuring direct increases in sales revenue, which benefits short-term goals and results for that company.

That means companies can continuously increase their sales by creating different marketing campaigns, which is different from public relations.

At the core, public relations can help companies change the minds of the target audiences since the messages sent through PR channels tend to be a lot more influential and credible.

On the other hand, marketing efforts give companies the power to sell, which is done through advertising and other forms of direct marketing.