The Relationship between #PR and #Marketing

By Barrack Onyango

Before the introduction of social media and content marketing, the line between PR and marketing was fairly clear and it was common for marketing and PR departments to operate independently from each other. The marketer's go-to tool was paid advertising, while the PR pro focused on generating earned media.

Public Relations (PR) and Content Marketing are two very related work but are entirely different from each other in terms of usage, cost, reach and success measurement. At the same time, PR and content marketing basically have the same end goal: relay brand's message to the public

Different Goals – Same Tools

Marketing's goal is to promote the company's products to potential customers in a way that conveys value and drives revenue. PR's goal is to improve the company's reputation with the general public, making them more receptive to marketing messages.

For example, marketers use social media to get the word out about products and promotions. PR professionals use social media to start conversations and develop a thought leadership position.

Often times other industries perceive PR as a silo, off in our own little world… When in reality successful PR is marked by its relationships with other departments like Marketing for example.

Clearly PR and Marketing have a lot of cross over. But what really is the relationship between PR and Marketing? Below are just a few reflections of the PR and Marketing bond.

Communication. PR and Marketing work together to communicate their respective strategies and execute harmoniously to communicate to the proper audiences.

Storytelling. Consistency is crucial to success. PR and Marketing tell the same story across advertisements, media placements, branding and more to avoid brand confusion.

Sales.Whether it be traditional ad buys or social media, both PR and Marketing unite to develop content and graphic designs in order to gain/increase sales.

Counseling. It is the nature of both PR and Marketing to provide counsel to organizations in order to have a successful image and effective outreach to audiences.

Difference between content marketing and PR

a. Usage difference: Content Marketing is put to use on a daily basis to activate your consumer but the PR agencies usually only come to use when there are special occasions that a brand needs to talk about. You reach 100,000 users- get to the press. Your brand has had a recall, get to the PR to take away the negative spin that needs to be rectified.

b. Consumer-centricity: From a consumer perspective, remarkable Content marketing is seen as "useful", "interesting" and "entertaining" content while a PR message is seen as a marketing message. Usually PR releases are bland, formal and brand or product-centric as opposed to being consumer-centric. Content marketing messages or even adverts are seen as native ads by users since they're seen to be providing consumer value.

c. Costs: PR agencies due to their deep relationships tend to be extremely expensive and can cost a startup or a small business a significant chunk running into thousands of dollars. Content marketing on the other hand can be done in-house or with external help in a much more flexible and low-cost manner.

d. Reach: The whole idea of Content Marketing is to place content in predefined zones where the target audience discovers it (inbound marketing). The more niche the audience or community is, the better it works. This is in contrast to PR, where content has to have a mass or a far-reaching distribution effect to catapult the brand in a positive light by the larger public.

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