The Differences Between PR, Strategic Communications, and Marketing

2022-01-03 by EPR Staff

Marketing and public relations are related but separate industries, and both of them are essential to the success of every company. Marketing includes all of the promotional and advertising strategies that a company uses to promote its  products or services. Marketing also includes marketing analytics, market research, and efforts that are used to target specific audience segments to determine the performance of marketing campaigns.

On the other hand, public relations is focused on a company’s general brand identity and its reputation in relation to as well as independently from its products or services. All of the communications that develop and maintain a company’s relationship with the general public, the investors, stakeholders, and consumers, fall under the umbrella of public relations.

In recent times, there has been a movement toward companies integrating their external communications– which include both public relations and marketing– into a multidisciplinary field which is often called integrated marketing communications, or strategic communications. However, this term can also refer to both the internal and external communications strategies that together support a company’s goals and mission.

Additionally, while marketing often tends to relate to the corporate sphere, when it comes to strategic communications, it can also encompass public relations campaigns and media strategies in politics.,That includes things such as strategies for political figures or parties, as well as for fundraising, non-profit community relations, and initiatives by federal, state, and local agencies. Furthermore, strategic communications are often focused on organizational communication such as employee training, human resources support, interdepartmental communications, and more.

However, despite all of those distinctive elements of public relations, marketing, and strategic communications, at their core the writing, analytical, and multimedia skills that are required of the professionals in all of them are fairly consistent across the board.

Marketing and PR represent different types of communication between a company and its customers, investors, and  the general public. However, marketing is generally defined as a company promoting its products or services to both current and potential consumers. On the other hand, public relations is also  concerned with how a company is perceived by the public.   PR is largely defined by the communications that shape the relationship between a company and the general public. These communications include a company’s brand, mission statement, identity, and more.

However, a lot of public relations and marketing strategies tend to overlap, which makes those two disciplines rely on each other in multiple ways. For example, ethical marketing strategies are made to build trust between a brand and its consumers, which also makes it  beneficial for public relations.

On the other hand, strong public relations communications can build trust between a brand and its investors or consumers.  The mission statement can support a company’s marketing efforts by giving them a foundational element of customer loyalty. This is one of the many reasons why plenty of companies have started integrating their public relations and marketing departments, or having their marketing and public relations professionals work together in order to create a single communications strategy.