It’s easy to answer the question, “Are PR and marketing the same thing?” with one simple word, “No”.
Marketing involves a basket of specialist skills. These might include market research, product development, packaging design, brand launches, selling-in to distributors or retailers, digital and print advertising, PR, social media and promotion, consumer measurement and feedback.
So what does PR do?
Public relations, PR or media relations, is all about creating awareness of a brand, product or service and building trust with target audiences. The job of a PR person is to communicate with the target audiences through various channels and trusted third parties such as the newspapers, magazines, broadcast media and websites to build brand awareness and ultimately drive the main goal of the brand – whether that be a raised profile, sales, sign-ups, reputational improvement, donations, etc.
It’s also worth noting that PR comes into its own if you or your business comes under media or public attack, for whatever reason. An experienced PR professional can help protect, repair and even enhance your reputation. You won’t recover lost ground overnight and may need to mount a sustained fight back. This is where the specialist skills of a crisis communications professional can really help you.
How is PR measured?
It’s good practice to undertake on-going evaluation of all marketing activity and it is especially important to measure the success of standalone campaigns against pre-agreed KPIs once the campaign has ended.
As a general rule of thumb, a successful marketing campaign would be one that meets sales goals and results in more profit and higher ROI.
Whereas PR people usually define success in terms of changes in attitude and/or behaviour that have been brought about through their activity, and can include mutually beneficial relationships they’ve built with key influencers and media contacts. After all, positive media sentiment ultimately leads to higher profile, enhanced reputation and, ultimately, sales … which feeds into the overall marketing objectives.
PR and Marketing personnel are part of the same team.
A marketing effort is incomplete without PR pulling its weight.
Working in harmony with marketers, the function of PR is to raise awareness, convey specific messages to specific audiences, and elicit feelings of trust and positivity about a brand or business.