Editor’s note: PR versus marketing

Reading Time: 2 minutes

RELATIONSHIPS have been put to the test during the past year in every sense and context. In business, no profession understands this better than public relations whose purpose it is to build relationships between organizations and stakeholders or publics.

The dynamic of the relationship between public relations and marketing is not always clear cut, nor is the difference. But it needs to be.

You don’t have to be a business leader to know that a business is about much more than the product or service it sells. It’s an intrinsic part, no doubt, but still one part of a bigger picture. Marketing largely looks after this aspect of the relationship with customers. 

Public relations takes a step back and looks at the bigger picture in the context of everyone who is impacted by or has an impact on a business. PR develops, nurtures and grows all relationships, within and outside a business.

Within a business, the relationship public relations has with marketing is the same as its relationship with every other department. It works with – not within – marketing when it comes to products and services; human resources when it comes to recruitment campaigns and internal communications; sales when it comes to pitches; finance when it comes to annual reports and investor relations; and legal when it comes to issues and crises. It works with CEOs on company-wide executive communications.

Public relations and marketing are two pieces of the same puzzle, but they have and serve different business objectives. Both disciplines also have different perspectives in how they communicate, inform and engage with customers. As the meme often illustrates, PR is “Trust me, they are a good company” while marketing is “We are a good company”. While public relations is relational and marketing is transactional, does this mean they should operate separately or under one umbrella? 

I hope you enjoy the Summer 2021 issue of Strategic and that it resonates with you. 

Until Autumn 2021, take care. 

Best regards,