Huh? So There’s a Difference Between Public Relations and Marketing?

I like to claim that there is a 21st century version of Hamlet’s famous question to my clients and business associates. And I believe it would be what is the difference between public relations and marketing? Yes, I can hear your sniggers from here. However, a number of scholarly articles find that the line between the two continues to blur with decreasing numbers of specialists in either role. While I agree with the consensus, I feel there are distinct differences between the two that any new or emerging entrepreneur should know about. Let’s have a look at the case presented to us, shall we?

PUBLIC RELATIONS (or PR) is the way you communicate to the public, internal and external stakeholders, investors and sponsors. Breaking it down this could mean that:

Image- building could very well be a synonym for public relations. When you do PR you’re making stories in the media, doing free seminars and developing newsletters.

• Publicity generated from good public relations arguably carries far more credibility than direct marketing. Don’t you believe everything that’s in the media?

• Good public relations take time, planning and some spending money for copywriters and consultants.

• Public relations serve as a management function for business. It is all about anticipating and analysing attitudes towards your business. Those attitudes will affect the plans and direction of where you are heading professionally.

MARKETING is a results-orientated approach to get your target market to buy a product or service from you. So that means it is:

• All about satisfying clients through the creation, distribution and promotion of products and services you offer. Ensure that your product or service is available in the right place at the right time.

• About knowing that you may be subject to laws and regulations when marketing your product or service. Despite the red tape make sure things work for you and be creative about it.

• About determining price and finding the best distribution channels to reach the most amount of clients. This usually involves a bit of research on the competition.

So there you have it in a nutshell. If you are just about to start your own business, you will need both to set up a positive image and a viable selling product or service. My suggestion on a shoestring budget (or shoestring time)would be to start brainstorming news story ideas for at least 15 minutes a day; then for the next 15 minutes write at least three places that could distribute your product or service. Then your next step would be…no surprises here…to sit down with your friendly neighborhood PR consultant or marketing director today to put it into action!