Last Updated on April 10, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck
Many business owners don’t know the difference between PR and marketing. Do you? Although they’re often lumped together, marketing and public relations are two completely different types of communications strategies.
The Difference between Marketing and Publicity
The difference between PR and marketing is the type of results they generate. Marketing strategies generate leads to bring an audience into your sales funnel. On the other hand, public relations generate positive buzz for your company. Buzz could help with your marketing, but it’s not the primary goal.
To put it another way, the difference between PR and marketing is their endgame. Marketing is focused on driving sales and promoting your products and services, while PR is focused on promoting your company.
Why Hire a PR Firm?
Now that you know the difference between PR and marketing, do you need both? Of course, every business needs a marketing strategy, but many business owners are not as clear on whether they need PR. Think of it this way: while marketing campaigns will ebb and flow depending on your product launches, PR is an evergreen resource that will always work in your favor.
Hiring a PR firm can be a strong move for your business. A good PR firm can create a positive reputation for your company, simultaneously attracting new customers, stakeholders, and potential hires. While marketing is excellent for the short term, PR is about playing the long game. Your reputation is a precious asset, and a PR firm allows you to control it.
Here are just a few of the things a PR firm can help you with:
- Social media
- Press releases
- Media communications
- Reputation management and repair
- Media training
- Market research
There are a few ways to go about finding a good PR firm. First, ask around. Your business contacts might work with an organization they can recommend. If not, look for examples of the press you’d like to generate for your business. Finally, if you see a quality press release for a company, find out which agency created it.
Even if you don’t end up working with those agencies, it helps to have a portfolio of examples to show a potential PR firm to compare to the work they usually do. Comparison preparation will help determine whether a particular firm can get the desired results.
Finally, trust your gut. You want to feel good about whatever PR firm you decide to work with, as you’ll ideally be working closely with them to manage your company’s reputation. If you’re unsure about the first one you talk to, it’s okay to look around until you find one right.
Now that you understand the difference between PR and marketing, many more business and leadership topics exist to explore. As a business coach, I always share my experience through weekly articles on my website. Click here and subscribe to have my latest blog posts delivered to your inbox weekly.