The age old question…
Marketing and public relations, they’re the same thing – aren’t they? This is a question I get asked all the time, and my answer – No, public relations and marketing are different. Marketing is interested in the market – consumers and demand. Public relations is interested in relationships and reputation.
I think the confusion comes as they both deal with communicating an organisations message to its public. This is true, but public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour, while marketing is more ‘in your face’ to grab attention, such as advertising campaigns.
However different their functions and how they are perceived, marketing and public relations do and must work together towards one goal. Good public relations create a healthy environment for marketing.
Hopefully that has given some clarification to marketing and public relations and the differences between them. Both components are important and should be used to support each other as part of a management tool.