Sometimes, certain terms can confuse you. Many people get confused by PR and marketing. You might think they mean the same, but it turns out, they refer to different things. Confusing public relations and marketing is quite a common mistake made by many. After all, they have a lot in common. So it’s no surprise that the two disciplines cause confusion. But they do have their differences. Learning the difference between PR and content marketing is essential. This knowledge comes in handy when communicating effectively within the organization. Plus, it is also necessary when it comes to customer engagement strategies.
Through this article, we plan on letting you know about PR and content marketing. You will get to know the meanings of each term and the differences and similarities between them. So, to learn it all, just keep scrolling.
What Is Public Relations?
First of all, let’s figure out what PR means. PR, a.k.a “Public relations” refers to a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public.
In public relations, public image is the main idea, and positivity is at the core of the notion. There are professional public relations officers, employed in-house or under the direction of a client. Their job is to portray an organization, brand, individual, campaign, or product in a positive light to the public.
Let’s take an example here. Suppose a company decides to improve the publicity. They would have a public relations team to come up with a messaging campaign to communicate their intentions to the public. In this case, the PR team would start out by drafting a “story” surrounding the entire business idea.. This involves elevating the profile of the organization’s founder or executive team, while drafting press materials and fielding media inquiries regarding the transition from private to public. The message will be shared in press releases, on social media, or face-to-face with journalists. The message would highlight the successes of the company and why it’s a good move for everyone involved.
Let’s look at some of the most common functions of public relations:
- Corporate Communications
- Crisis Communications
- Executive Communications
- Internal Communications
- Investor Relations Communications:
- Marketing Communications
- Integrated Marketing/Integrated Marketing Communications
- Media Relations
- Content Creation
- Social Media
- Reputation Management
- Brand Journalism
- Handling Negative Press
We discussed that the main idea of PR is to showcase a brand in a positive light to the public. This also involves handling the negative press. They have to deal with any negative news stories by coming up with plans to control the damage. Damage control is a huge part of PR and one of the toughest as well. Suppose a negative story comes up that impacts a client. Then, a public relations professional or agency must take a very delicate and cautious approach to dissolve the situation and reduce or reverse the damage. They would attempt to put a “positive spin” on things or communicate an apology on behalf of the brand.
What Is Marketing?
Now, let’s see what exactly is referred to as “marketing. Marketing can be identified as a set of activities, set of institutions, and processes for exploring, creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that include value for consumers, partners, clients, and the overall society. Of course, marketing is essential to brand-building, just like public relations. It is crucial to the survival and growth of any business.
There are different types of marketing and marketing strategies. We have mentioned some of the most well-known marketing strategies below:
- Content marketing
- Inbound marketing
- Search engine marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Relationship marketing
- Viral marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Guerilla marketing
So, what is the purpose of marketing? Why is it an important element? Well, that is because marketing serves so much. It is crucial to form a connection between a brand and its audience of clients. Customers are introduced to the value of the brand (it could be a product, company, etc.). Then, a bond is created with the intent of influencing the customer’s behavior. You might think of that as converting the client into a loyal consumer and brand advocate. However, it’s not just that. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about the sale of a physical product. Attitudes towards a brand can also be transformed through marketing. In turn, someone can become an advocate of the brand without ever actually buying products.
Similarities Between Public Relations and Marketing
We have established that PR and marketing are two different entities. Still, there are a bunch of similarities between the two.
One of the biggest similarities between the tasks of public relations and marketing professionals is that most of the time, marketing and PR officers describe themselves as storytellers. That is because both of these jobs require them to tell the story of an individual, brand, product, or idea. So, the approach taken by PR professionals and marketing professionals is pretty similar. Other than that, there are more similarities.
2. The nature of work
Another similarity is regarding the actual nature of the work of marketing and PR officials. Both PR and marketing are focused on spreading the word and creating awareness. Although the two entities have different target audiences, spreading awareness is a common task for both.
3. Tools of the Trade
This point is pretty obvious. The medium and tools of distribution used by PR and marketing officials are similar. For example, both utilize distribution channels like social media to achieve their specific end goals.
4. Content Creation
Now you know that both PR and marketing professionals are storytellers in their own way. As storytellers, both jobs require them to have incredible content creation skills. This is a crucial skill because both need to act as the “voice” of the business.
5. Relationship Building
Both the PR and marketing disciplines have a common aim. That is to build a good relationship with a target audience. Professional PR officers work to build positive relationships with the press covering their customers. Equivalently, market professionals want to create a similar connection with consumers.
Now you know the similarities between the PR and marketing disciplines. They really have a lot in common. That is why setting marketing and PR apart can be a challenge. However, it’s not all the same. There are some noticeable differences between PR and marketing. Let’s see how they differ from each other.
PR and content marketing: The differences
1. The idea of selling vs. promotion
The primary difference between PR and content marketing is the idea of “selling vs. promotion.” On the surface, marketing is about selling, while PR is about promotion. However, that’s not the only difference between marketing and PR.
You could say that, ultimately, public relations is a subcategory of marketing. That is because marketing covers a large range of processes that aim at promoting organizations to the public. Although the goals of marketing and PR are promotional, there are key differences between the fields.
Marketing is a set of activities, a set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, and exchanging offerings that have value for consumers, partners, and society overall. Basically, marketing is all about preparing to deliver products or services to the public, letting people know what you’re giving, and getting it to them.
On the flip side, public relations has a more specific angle. That is to portray a positive outlook on a brand. The main idea behind public relations is to influence, engage, and form bonds with key stakeholders across numerous platforms. This is done to shape and frame the public perception of the particular brand.
2. Measurement of success
PR and marketing professionals tend to measure success using different metrics. For example, in marketing, they measure growth using sales figures. On the other hand, PR will check the success rate by checking the number of people who are receiving and responding positively to their messages.
3. Target Audiences
Both public relations and marketing officers work to generate positive impressions of their clients. However, they have a separate set of target audiences. For instance, marketers will employ meticulous research strategies to identify their target consumers.
There you go! Now you have learned all about the differences between PR and content marketing. We hope this article helped you understand each of these entities well. Also, now you can understand the similarities and differences between the two disciplines. They have a lot of similarities, which is why a lot of people confuse the two. However, the many differences in the approach and purpose establish that PR and marketing are quite different. Learning the differences and similarities can help you understand the nature of the two. It can also help to communicate effectively within an organization and with the public.