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Marketing or PR: What’s the Difference?

Brand Development

The lines between public relations and marketing have blurred. Although both are essential to a business's overall communication and customer engagement strategy, there’s absolutely a clear division between the two, especially in the way that they are implemented.  

While public relations is focused on the maintenance of a positive reputation of a brand, marketing is more focused on driving sales through the promotion of products and services.  

As a digital marketing agency in Miami that provides both marketing and PR services, we can tell you that it’s important to know the difference between the two.  

In this article, we are going to define the differences between marketing and PR.

What Is Public Relations?

Your company's image greatly influences whether your target audience knows, likes, and trusts you.  

Modern consumers think about a brand’s reputation throughout the buying process. In fact, 90% of all purchase decisions made today are based on brand image and nothing else.  

This is where PR comes in.  

Public relations encompasses activities that work to portray a brand, organization, individual, product, or service in a positive light. It aims to cultivate a positive reputation by building relationships through activities like press releases, social media engagements, and in-person interactions.  

It’s also often used to defend a brand's image during crises that threaten its trustworthiness.  

The Importance of PR for Small Businesses

PR helps define your brand, making your marketing message recognizable across multiple media platforms. This allows your target audience to become familiar with who you are and what you do.  

PR also plays an important role in forming a narrative around your brand.  It can do this through press outreach, networking events, fundraising programs, and other activities designed to help the public understand your organization’s goals.

Another reason why PR is important is that it allows you to mitigate the effects of negative press. When a negative story impacts you, you can use PR to put a positive spin on unfortunate events, communicate an apology, and ultimately, restore your reputation.  

What Is Marketing?

digital marketing agency in Miami  creating a marketing plan for client.

Generally speaking, marketing refers to the process of promoting your products and services to attract customers and increase sales.  

There are different types of marketing, including digital marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing, and many more.  

Without effective marketing, it’s going to be difficult for you to put your brand in front of potential customers and make a sale.  

Marketing can help you reach your ideal customers and convert them into lifelong customers.  

The Importance of Marketing for Small Businesses

  • Marketing plays an important role in all aspects of your small business because it: Educates people about your products and services.  
  • Gives you the opportunity to establish trust among your target audience.  
  • Teaches you about your ideal customers, what they like, and how you can win them over to boost your sales.  
  • Helps you stay relevant and grow.  

Goals of PR vs. Marketing

The goals of public relations revolve around:

  • Creating a positive image for your company or brand.  
  • Preserving and protecting your reputation.  
  • Increasing your prestige.  
  • Boosting your perceived value.  

The goals of marketing revolve around:

  • Reaching your target audience and increasing brand awareness.  
  • Generating high-quality leads.  
  • Producing high-quality and reputable content, partnering with industry leaders, and doing guest blogs to establish your company as a thought leader.  
  • Increasing customer value.  
  • Optimizing your website and its content for SEO.
  • Growing your presence on the search and social media.  
  • Increasing conversion rates to boost your revenue.  

Daily Tasks Involved in Public Relations vs. Marketing

Here are some of the daily activities of PR specialists:

  • Write press releases about an upcoming product launches, company events, new company initiatives, and other newsworthy development in your business.  
  • Establish and maintain a good relationship with consumers, employees, public interest groups, and representatives of your community.  
  • Plan and communicate company programs to maintain a favorable public perception of your business agenda.  
  • Develop public relations strategies that aim to influence public opinion, present ideas, and promote products/services.  
  • Monitor, update, and maintain any PR content posted on the web.  
  • Secure speaking opportunities at industry events.  
  • Build a relationship with the media by pitching positive stories about upcoming company announcements and events.  
  • Develop a communication strategy and crisis management plan.  
  • Track, evaluate, and improve PR efforts.  
  • Ensure that your company’s advertising and promotional programs are aligned with PR goals.  
  • Draft weekly newsletters for prospects and subscribers.  

At our digital marketing agency in Miami, our marketing professionals are focused on doing the following daily:

  • Create and manage advertising campaigns.  
  • Coordinate with the sales department to develop effective strategies.  
  • Plan and implement marketing activities.  
  • Develop and execute a marketing schedule.  
  • Study your target market and identify potential customers.  
  • Secure digital advertising placements.  
  • Conduct industry research to ensure the success of marketing campaigns.  
  • Develop content for every stage of the buyer’s journey.  
  • Create content for website, social media, ads, and other marketing channels.  
  • Manage your brand’s social media profiles.  
  • Make sure that the website and content posted online are highly visible through SEO.  

Similarities Between Public Relations and Marketing

marketer writing the difference between marketing and PR on a white board.

Public relations and marketing are very closely related in the following ways:

  • PR and marketing work to create awareness. They help spread the word about your business.  
  • Both disciplines use the same distribution channels, such as social media, to spread information.  
  • Both create and use content to send a message and communicate to the public.  
  • PR and marketing aim to build and maintain a good relationship with the public through communication. For example, PR professionals want to build a positive relationship with the press, while marketers want to build rapport with consumers.  

Differences Between PR and Marketing

The main difference between PR and marketing is that PR is focused on building and maintaining a positive reputation for your company, while marketing is focused more on promoting and selling your products and services. However, the differences don’t end there.  

  • PR and marketing have different target audiences. For example, marketers often create campaigns to appeal to customers. PR specialists pitch stories for the press.  
  • Both disciplines measure success using different metrics. Marketers, measure success based on how many sales they generate for every campaign.  On the other hand, you can measure your PR campaign’s success based on the number of press clippings and website backlinks produced.  
  • They have different motivations behind their calls to action.  Marketing is geared towards getting people to buy or convert, while PR is focused more on generating positive conversation around the brand.  

Effects of Negative Publicity and Bad Reputation

The most basic thing that can affect your online reputation is a review. As your go-to digital marketing agency in Miami, we know how a single negative review can spread easily and stop potential customers from doing business with you.  

This is why it’s important to address negative PR right away.  

  • Ignoring bad publicity will result in a loss of sales due to distrust from potential customers.

Consequences of Poor Marketing Strategies

Modern marketing is customer-centric. Consumers today no longer want to be sold to. That's why pushy sales tactics no longer work, and those marketers that fail to put consumers at the center of their marketing strategy often drive prospects away.

Inconsistent messaging confuses prospects and customers, making it harder for you to generate sales.  

Are You Looking a PR and Digital Marketing Agency in Miami?

PR and marketing play crucial roles in helping your small business achieve short-term objectives and long-term success. Their difference lies in their end goal. Marketing is focused on making more sales, while PR is focused on building a positive reputation.  

We understand that not every small business has the bandwidth to manage both disciplines successfully. It takes experience, a lot of planning, data, and maybe even outsourcing experts to get it right.  

If you feel you need help spreading the positive word about your business to boost your reputation and promote your products and services, this digital marketing agency from Miami can help.  

Digital Resource has a team of PR specialists and digital marketing experts that will team up with you to develop a custom PR and digital marketing plan. This will boost your company’s value in the minds of your target customers, which in turn boosts your sales.  

Contact us today for a free consultation!  

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