There is always confusion around the difference between Public Relations and Marketing.

Do you know the difference?

Both of course are an opportunity to create exposure around your business or your event.

While that is correct both create awareness one is free while the other costs money.

Now the argument could be that free usually equals time and time is money, although that is correct, the biggest difference is going to be what that time actually costs you as compared to paying for the Marketing.

One of the things that I have experienced in my role of Public Relations has been that many businesses do confuse the two.

They will hire someone to do PR but what they want them to do is actually Marketing, buy ads, and create ads.  Some people go to school to study Marketing while others study Public Relations.

Here are the definitions of the two:

Public Relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public. (don’t confuse PR with Media Relations that is another topic)

Marketing is the activity or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

If you read these two descriptions you can see they are completely different. Public Relations is about perceptions and relationships, where Marketing is more about spending creating ads, brochures, and promotions. 

As a business owner, both are important.

You need to always be aware of the perceptions of your customers and you need to have some sort of advertising around what you are doing.

What adds to the PR is the Media Relations, whether it’s traditional media like newspaper or radio or utilizing your social media platforms. Media Relations is where you generate your FREE publicity. 

But getting back to Public Relations, think about what that word means, it’s the PUBLIC perception, expectation, or public ideas matched with the RELATIONS or the Relationships that you create with your potential clients.

If anything Public Relations is more important than your Marketing strategies, because if your Public Relations are not what your public expects they can damage your reputation, and no amount of Marketing will help fix it.

So when you are creating your Marketing Strategy make sure you create your Public Relations Strategy. 

RaDeana Montgomery is a seasoned Public Relations Strategist with both education and experience in working in the non-profit and profitable sectors helping businesses and their owners understand the importance of a strong Public Relations Strategy. Her proven track record in fundraising is supported by her excellence in Media Relations and Public Relations.