Difference Between Public Relations (PR) and Marketing

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: June 06, 2023


Difference Between Public Relations (PR) and Marketing

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Even industry pros can readily cross the borders between public relations (PR) and marketing. In today's environment, the aims, goals, and even some strategies employed by both the public relations and marketing departments may be closely related.

To put it simply, marketing is concerned with increasing sales through the promotion of products, services, or ideas through platforms such as social media. Public relations (PR) is primarily concerned with maintaining a positive reputation of a company, brand, or individual through the media.

Public Relations vs Marketing

While the major distinction between the two could be interpreted as "selling vs. promotion," that is not the only distinction between marketing and public relations.

Audiences to target. Both parties will promote their client, but to separate audiences. Marketers, for example, will conduct extensive research to determine their target market.

Measurement. Different criteria will be used by public relations and marketing experts to determine success. Marketing success is frequently measured by sales figures, whereas public relations success is measured by how many people receive and respond positively to their messaging.

A Call to Action is issued. The desire to take some form of action - usually "buy" - is inherent in every marketing campaign, whereas PR is more concerned with generating favorable mentions and debate.

Difference Between Public Relations and Marketing in Tabular Form

MeaningThe practice of maintaining favorable relationships and regulating the exchange of information between a firm and the public is referred to as public relations (PR).Marketing is described as the activity of generating, marketing and providing valuable products and services to clients.
InvolvesPromotion of the company and its brand.Product and service promotion.
AudiencesMedia, stakeholders, customers, and the public.Customers or consumer categories to target
FocusRelationship building and reputation management.Revenue maximization and sales generation.
Primary OutcomeIncreasing credibility and controlling public perception.Getting and keeping customers.
Long-Term RelationshipLong-term partnerships with stakeholders are prioritized.Priority should be given to client acquisition and retention.
FunctionStaff function.Line Function.

What Are Public Relations?

Public relations are a strategic communication technique that helps organizations, and their audiences form mutually beneficial partnerships. Essentially, messages are created and delivered to enlighten and persuade the public. The messaging is intended to generate notoriety, promote a company, or influence individuals to change their minds or behave. A typical public relations campaign can include senior management or important organizational leaders appearing on television and radio, or a representative providing statements to a newspaper or magazine.

The goal of public relations is to enlighten the public, investors, partners, future customers, employees, and clients to encourage them to have a favorable opinion of the company and the brand. To foster trust and a strong public relationship with clients, the organization may also engage in activities such as donations, support of the arts, sporting events, free education, and so on.

Relationships are crucial to public relations. Here are some skills that public relations practitioners employ daily:

Relationship development

Relationships are crucial to public relations. Active listening and empathy are key skills to have when working in public relations. Understanding what somebody is saying and communicating it back to them demonstrates that you can comprehend them, which helps you create trust with that person.


This talent differs from building connections in that networking is the capacity to introduce yourself to develop a future relationship. Confidence and enthusiasm will assist you in efficiently introducing yourself to others to develop a strong network of relationships.


Professionals who are trustworthy are more inclined to work with them. Working relationships will be easier to maintain if you are honest and straightforward.

Speaking in public

Successful oral communication is essential for making new friends, forming relationships, and motivating others. When working in a collaborative function such as public relations, it is vital to understand how to talk with confidence.

Types of Public Relation

Public relations is often separated into numerous agencies or departments. Each department is uniquely qualified to handle the following aspects:

Media relations: The emphasis of developing good relationships with public media organizations is on media relations. A media relations team frequently works directly with external media by presenting firm news directly to them, offering authenticated content sources, and being available for public comment on other news items.

Production Relation: Production connections are inextricably linked to a company's direct operations. This department supports wide marketing initiatives and is often tied to specialized, one-time endeavors such as the debut of a new product, a special campaign, or administration of a big product change.

Investor relation: Investor relations is the management of the company's connection with its investors. This part of public relations manages investor events, controls the communication of financial report releases, and resolves investor concerns.

Internal Relation: Internal relations is the branch of public relations that deals with a company's employees. Internal relations are concerned with counselling employees, ensuring that all employees are content with their working conditions, and resolving difficulties internally to avoid public admission of unhappiness.

Government Relation: Government relations refer to the relationship that exists between a company and the relevant governing body. Some public relations teams work hard to establish[NB1]  good relationships with politicians to provide feedback, influence decision-makers to act in specific ways, and ensure that the company's clients are treated fairly.

Community Relations: A subset of public relations which concentrates on a company's image and standing within a certain community. The community could be physical (such as a city) or non-physical (such as the dog-owner community). This style of communication focuses on the social niche of the community to connect with its members.

Customer Relations: Customer relations serve as a link between the company and its customers. Handling critical contacts, performing market research, identifying client goals, and addressing major complaints are all common responsibilities in public relations.

What Is Marketing?

Marketing was defined differently by different people. Some refer to it as product or service shopping, while others refer to it as merchandising, and still, others associate it with product selling. Shopping, retailing, and selling are all subsets of the activity known as marketing.

Marketing is a management process that involves the buying and selling of products and services, and it encompasses all actions involved in the transportation of a product from concept to client. Marketing activities include product design, warehousing, packing, transportation, delivery, advertising, branding, selling, pricing, and so on. In a nutshell, marketing is anything a business does to acquire and retain customers.

What Is the Goal of Marketing?

Marketing as a discipline encompasses all the actions that a corporation does to attract and retain customers. Networking with potential or past clients is also a part of the job, and may entail writing thank you notes, playing golf with prospective clients, promptly responding to phone calls and emails, and meeting with clients for coffee or a meal.

Marketing, at its most basic, aims to connect a company's products and services to people who want access to those products. Ultimately, matching items to customers assures profitability.

What Is P’s of Marketing?

The Four Ps of marketing is product, pricing, place, and promotion. The Four Ps constitute the essential combination required by a corporation to sell a product or service. In the 1950s, Neil Borden popularized the concept of the marketing combination and the Four Ps.


A product is an item or goods that a company intends to sell to clients. The product should strive to fill a gap in the market or meet consumer demand for more of an already available product. Marketers must first understand the product being sold, how it differs from competitors, whether the product may be coupled with a secondary product or product line, and when there are replacement products on the market before they can develop an effective campaign.


Price relates to how much the corporation will charge for the product. Companies must consider unit cost pricing, marketing expenditures, and distribution expenses when determining a price. Companies must also examine the pricing of rival products in the marketplace, as well as whether their suggested price point is sufficient to be considered a realistic alternative for consumers.


Place refers to how the product is distributed. Key considerations include when the product will be sold in a physical location, online, or through both channels. What kind of actual product positioning does it get when it's offered in a storefront? What type of digital item placement does it get when it's sold online?


The integrated marketing communications project is the fourth P. Advertising, selling, sales promotions, public relations, direct marketing, sponsorship, and guerilla marketing are all examples of promotional activities.

Promotions differ based on the stage of the product's life cycle. Marketers recognize that consumers equate a product's price and availability with its level of quality, and they consider this while developing the entire marketing plan.

Types of Marketing

There are dozens of marketing styles, and they have multiplied with the advent and expansion of social media, mobile platforms, and technical advancements. Prior to technology, marketing could have consisted of mail campaigns, word-of-mouth campaigns, billboards, the distribution of sample products, TV ads, or telemarketing. Marketing now includes social media, targeted commercials, e-mail marketing, inbound marketing to drive online visitors, and other tactics.

Overlap Between Public Relations and Marketing

Even though they do not have the same particular tasks, marketing and public relations collaborate to achieve overlapping goals. Here are some specific parallels between the two:

  • Marketing and public relations aim to influence end users to raise awareness and convert leads into consumers.
  • Marketing and public relations both utilize persuasive communication to gain the trust of potential customers and make goods and services more appealing.
  • The marketing and public relations efforts of the organization are being planned with its best interests in mind.
  • The general public is the target audience for marketing and public relations communications.

It is impossible to separate marketing from public relations. For marketing to generate sales, it is necessary to strengthen a company's public image. By growing an organization's revenues, public relations become more successful by raising public awareness, and outlets that affect public perception are more probable to want to collaborate with you and highlight your efforts.

Main Differences Between Public Relations(PR) And Marketing in Points

In terms of the distinction between Public Relations (PR) and Marketing, the following points stand out:

  • Public Relations (PR) refers to the process of maintaining positive relationships and managing the flow of information within a corporation and society. Marketing refers to a set of activities that involves the creation, communication, and delivery of valuable products and services to clients.
  • Public relations are concerned with the promotion of the organization and its brand. However, in the case of marketing, the company's products and services are promoted to its clients.
  • Marketing and public relations are both management functions, with marketing being a line function with a direct impact on the company's bottom line. Public relations, on the other hand, is a staff activity that indirectly supports an organization in attaining its aims and objectives.
  • Earned media, or free media, is earned by the organization through endorsements from third parties such as word-of-mouth, press meetings, news releases, speeches, and so on. In contrast to marketing, which is based on paid media such as radio, television, and print advertising.
  • Public relations encompass the broader public as a whole, whereas marketing operations are directed at a specific audience.
  • Marketing's goal is to convert shoppers into customers, i.e., to generate revenue. On the contrary, public relations attempts to foster trust and protect a company's reputation.
  • Public relations are a two-way street. Marketing, on the other hand, is a monologue activity requiring only one-way communication.


Marketing activities are fully controlled by the organization, whereas public relations are controlled by the organization and an external party, namely media outlets. Marketing is a broader term than public relations, as the latter is a subset of the former. As a result, both tactics are complementary rather than incompatible.


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"Difference Between Public Relations (PR) and Marketing." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sat. 02 Mar. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-public-relations-pr-and-marketing>.

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