I have been working in PR for finance companies and startups for number of years now and something which I find myself repeating over and over again is the difference between a PR company and a marketing company. After the recent boom of cryptocurrency i was once again at it, having to tell many investors and business owners about the difference between Blockchain marketing and Blockchain PR. The specifics with regards to the Blockchain are of course irrelevant, what is relevant here is the stark contrast between a PR company and a marketing agency. Sure these two can work hand in hand with one another but at the end of the day they are in fact very different entities, let’s have a look at the comparison between the two.
Marketing will cover promotion and direct forms off advertising which seek to sell individual services or products, whilst maintaining the image of the brand. Public relations on the other had focusses entirely on the image of the business and the brand that it is trying to put forward. PR focuses solely on public perception and reputation management.
Public relations do not have a target audience per se, it is up to them to showcase the company in the image that has been agreed to the entire public. Marketing on the other hands focuses on a target market where it believes that it will get the most sales for the products and/or services.
Marketing and PR firms have very different goals from one another and this is what separates them and their actinides to such an extent. The goal of a marketing team is very simple, find the best package and promotional method to sell as much product as they possibly can. For PR firms on the other hand their goal is to create a long standing and strong brand which the public will fall in love with and continuously come back to again and again.
the messages which a PR team puts forth through the use of media, mainstream media, influencers and conference speakers are generally seen as far more legitimate than the messages which come from the marketing team. The difference here is that people know when they are being marketed to, yet they don’t always know when they are being spun.
Which is Best?
Whilst these two practices differ greatly there is no battle between the two and the best case scenario for any business is to use both, given that they can both be used for different goals. When you work well with both of these teams they can actually help one another to land a stronger message and if you can get them both singing from the same hymn sheet then you will see great progress in both selling your products and promoting your brand.