Marketing and PR

Marketing vs PR: Differences, Similarities, and Benefits to a Business in 2023

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Public relations is frequently confused with marketing and advertising. While there are some parallels, there are also some significant differences. This article focuses on outlining the similarities in marketing vs PR.

Even among industry specialists, the distinctions between public relations (PR) and marketing can be readily confused.

While aims, intentions, and even certain strategies may be similar, there is a distinct difference between marketing and public relations.

To put it plainly, marketing is concerned with increasing sales through promoting products, services, or ideas.

Public relations (PR) is primarily concerned with preserving a company’s, brand’s, or individual’s good name.

The major focus is probably the most fundamental distinction between marketing and public relations.

The practice of public relations focuses on building relationships between an organization or the individual and major public in order to manage the client’s image.

Marketing focuses on generating income by promoting products and services. Marketers utilize advertising as a means of persuading customers to take action.

Meanwhile, before we can give a full rundown of the difference between marketing and PR, we need to understand their meanings.

So, “What is Marketing?” and “What is PR?”

Marketing vs PR: Definitions

What exactly is marketing?

Marketing is the activity, collection of institutions, and procedures for developing, conveying, delivering, and exchanging value-added offerings for customers, clients, partners, and society as a whole.

Marketing is the process of promoting your goods and services to people who may be interested in purchasing them. As a result, advertising is just one (among many) types of marketing.

What is the definition of public relations?

The definition and role of the term have changed over time, but here is the most recent version:

In order to create and frame the public view of a business, public relations is all about influencing, engaging, and creating a connection with important stakeholders across a variety of platforms.

Public relations (PR) is the practice of using communication to establish and maintain relationships with groups or persons who are essential to your company, such as shareholders, journalists, employees, and customers.

To be sure, they’re not that dissimilar. It’s also not the same.

Check Out: What is a Marketing Specialist? Job Description, Pros & Cons, Salary

Why is PR Confused with Marketing?

Many people, especially industry professionals, have difficulty distinguishing between public relations and marketing.

In recent years, social media has only contributed to the confusion by further blurring the distinction between the two. Their many overlapping objectives and frequent collaboration contribute to a lot of the confusion.

While their final goals may be similar, their techniques for achieving those goals are vastly different.

It’s critical to cultivate a clear understanding of each activity as a creative firm that delivers both public relations and marketing services to the same customer.

From all indications, social media has caused the heavy reason PR is confused with Marketing, and we’ll explain this further.

So let’s get started…

Marketing vs PR: Confusion Clears

Companies now post both press releases and other PR announcements, as well as marketing campaign materials, on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks, breaking down barriers between PR and marketing.

Small and mid-sized businesses do not normally have the luxury of having a dedicated social media staff under their marketing umbrella.

As a small business grows, it may allocate various positions to a few employees and add and reshuffle functions.

Experts say it’s vital to establish clear lines of communication between all functions and define clear and connected objectives to effectively allocate work and minimize confusion.

Meanwhile, marketing, PR, and social media team leaders must be aware of the various projects and campaigns that other teams are working on or planning.

Team leaders should be kept aware through daily or weekly meetings, conference calls, or, at the very least, email correspondence.

In the event of potentially damaging social media posts, PR must be notified as soon as possible.

Finally, while public relations and marketing are still distinct functions, social media has blurred the lines between them.

As a result, collaboration and communication have become critical to achieving mutual success.

Read Also: What is Management Consulting? How Does it Work in 2023

What are the Similarities and Differences between PR and Marketing?

While discussing with a coaching friend, I realized that if you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve probably been told a million times that you need great marketing and PR strategies—but you may not have been told where one ends and the other begins.

If you’re in the same position as me and aren’t sure how to tell the difference between PR and marketing, here’s a breakdown.

First, let’s start with the definitions of these two functions:

Traditional Definitions

A company, other organization, or famous person’s professional maintenance of a favorable public image is known as Public Relations.

Marketing is the process of marketing and selling goods and services, which includes market research and advertising.

Goals of Marketing and PR

A public relations team’s objectives are as follows:

“Managing a positive reputation through multiple communication channels with stakeholders and the general public in order to sell a product, brand, or person.”

A marketing team’s objectives are as follows:

  • Reaching out to customers and asking them to take part in a sales-related activity.
  • Revenue is becoming a more important criterion against which marketing teams are judged.

Public Relations and Marketing Strategies on a Day-to-Day Basis

A public relations practitioner may be focused on the following responsibilities on a daily basis:

  • Managing the company’s communication
  • Putting together press releases
  • Obtaining opportunities to speak in public
  • Developing a company’s, brand’s, or individual’s media presence

On behalf of their customer, they manage media relations.

A public relations firm can also assist customers in developing a communication strategy or crisis management plan.

A marketing professional, on the other hand, is concerned with:

  • Developing and executing marketing campaigns
  • Getting traditional and digital ad placements
  • Conducting market research to aid in the development of marketing campaigns’ overall direction
  • Creating collateral for websites and digital marketing campaigns, as well as sales pitches and launches, brochures, and PDFs, among other things.
  • Managing the social media profiles of the firm or brand

Metrics of Success

If a marketer is nearing the end of a marketing campaign and wants to know how effective it was, she’ll ask the following questions to see if the campaign was successful:

Have the sales goals for the product been met or exceeded?

Was the marketing campaign’s return on investment (ROI) high when comparing the amount spent on it to the profit made from product sales?

Is there a lot of buzz about the product among consumers, social media followers, industry influencers, and the general public?

For a public relations professional, success would look like this:

  • A lot of positive press about a product or the company as a whole in relevant top-tier and trade journals and broadcast venues.
  • One of the company’s executives delivers an interesting statement at a high-profile event, resulting in further positive news.
  • At high-profile industry gatherings, awards were earned.
  • The company has received a lot of positive feedback from social media users, journalists, industry influencers, and the general public.

Target Audiences

In general, there is a distinction between the audiences for which PR and marketing teams generate messages.

The target audience for public relations teams is essentially endless. Consumers, stakeholders, the media, and even workers may be the target of these teams’ individualized or campaign-based engagement.

Depending on the company’s current needs, a PR expert may generate individualized investor communications at the same time as a press release blitz.

The audience that marketing teams strive to target is usually broader in the sense that they are either addressing customers or prospects — assuming that the PR team is in charge of all internal

The Marketing team, on the other hand, may engage in activities such as ABM, digital advertising, or email marketing, all of which revolve around segmenting and targeting certain groups of potential or existing customers.

Comparison Chart

MeaningPublic Relations (PR) refers to the process of maintaining positive relationships and managing the flow of information between the company and the general publicMarketing is defined as an activity of creating, communicating, and delivering products and services of value to the customers.
InvolvesPromotion of company and brandPromotion of products and services
FunctionStaff functionLine function
AudiencePublicTarget Market
Focus onBuilding trustMaking sales

Is Marketing Better Than PR?

To state the exact fact that makes marketing better than PR is pretty difficult. These two entities work in silos but can differ based on where it’s used.

The truth is, you can’t market without doing some PR, and you can’t do PR without doing some marketing.

The final goals—selling items and having people love a company—are too inextricably linked: if your products are bad, your firm will be seen negatively by the public, and if people don’t connect with your entire brand, they won’t buy your products.

Then there are social media, which can comfortably fit into either sector (or both, depending on how you’re feeling today).

If you work as a company’s community manager, you can be tweeting at journalists one minute and dealing with an angry client on Facebook the next.

It’s helpful to erase the doubts about how you promote your items and brand if you’re an entrepreneur or small business trying to handle marketing and PR on your own.

But, to be honest, I wouldn’t stress too much about the name of whatever you’re creating. Simply make it awe-inspiring.

Overlap Between Marketing and PR

Despite some evident distinctions, public relations and marketing cannot be separated.

In today’s fractured world of media, the two sectors must work together to be effective.

Consider how the activities of the PR and marketing teams have influenced one another.

If the product or service you’re promoting has low brand awareness, you’ll have a harder difficulty establishing a positive brand reputation, or relationship, with customers. Sales will almost certainly suffer as a result of this.

By collecting press for the product or service and then generating social media advertisements around that press, both the PR and marketing departments might work together to raise brand recognition.

Social media marketing and influencer marketing are two activities that both PR and marketing departments are increasingly managing.

Brand-building messages and targeted advertising campaigns can both be carried out through social media and influencers.

Although this necessitated more collaboration between the two departments, there are several benefits to aligning PR and marketing strategies. This includes increased content amplification across channels, additional optimization opportunities, maintaining and promoting brand messaging consistency, and more.


It’s really difficult to give an exact difference between marketing and PR. They’re closely related and both can’t function without each other.

Because marketing efforts are completely under the authority of the organization, whereas public relations is a joint effort between the organization and third parties, such as media outlets.

Also, marketing is a larger notion than public relations, as the latter falls under the former’s scope.

As a result, both tactics are complementary rather than antagonistic.


  • – The Difference Between Marketing and PR
  • – What is the Difference Between Marketing and PR?
  • – What are the differences between PR and marketing?

Ajah Excel is a team growth and performance expert with over nine years of experience in blogging and personal development.
He leads a team of 36 crazy, restless innovators with an enviable work culture at Silicon Africa Technologies Limited – a fast-rising tech firm from the SouthEast.
Excel is the founder of and WriterGig.
He is also the co-organizer of TEDx Ikenegbu and convener of Social Media Fest.
He is a vibrant learner who yearns to share his knowledge to educate and inspire young Africans.
He has a B.Tech in Information Management Technology with certifications in growth hacking, effective communication, leadership, team, and personal development, to mention a few.
Ajah Anayochukwu Excel is a passionate public speaker, creative writer, and brand storyteller.

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