When it comes to promoting your brand, there are plenty of avenues you can take, including PR and marketing. However, knowing where to focus your efforts can be quite confusing. Therefore, it’s essential to know what each involves and where it can take your brand.
Most broadly, the difference between marketing and PR is that marketing is focused on direct selling or enquiry, whereas PR focuses on maintaining the company’s reputation as a whole.
PR focuses on getting unpaid media coverage to build and protect brand reputation. It’s generally based on personal relationships to gain free media coverage, and as such, covers collaborations with influencers, bloggers and endorsement from industry experts. Day to day, a PR professional may write press releases, pitch and respond stories to the media and build relationships with industry influencers and contacts. Should a negative story arise about the company, it is the PR professional’s responsibility to negate any bad press and protect the company.
Generally, messages sent out through PR channels, such as news articles, speakers and influencers, are considered more credible by the consumer, as they are harder to recognise as sales-directed marketing tactics. The return on investment for PR can be hard to measure, as there is no direct metric on a consumer’s opinion of the company.
Marketing is focused on generating direct revenue or leads for a company. Therefore, activities can include promotions and direct sales channels like SEO, social media advertising and e-newsletters. It aims to reach current and potential customers and is designed to encourage consumers to think, believe or do some kind of sales-orientated action. A marketing professional could spend their days creating an advertising campaign for a new offering, service or product; writing copy for supporting materials, such as brochures and websites, and conducting research to help develop wider strategies.
As digital marketing becomes more and more important, they may also look at improving the SEO of websites and developing and executing social media plans. Marketing can have both short and long-term success and is easily measured by the increase in business.