The Difference between Public Relations and Marketing
By Darrell L. Browning
Many people confuse public relations and marketing, yet they are two very distinct things. Marketing connects products or services to a particular group or audience. This allows tailored approaches and makes it easier to measure results.
Public Relations are about building and maintaining relationships–truthful, honest connections between your organization’s internal and external stakeholders. Public relations should help set the tone of your company. Public Relations, like marketing, should be managed communication. At BrowningLaFrankie, we describe Public Relations as the art of identifying, establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with the media, the community, your customers, employees and others.
Ironically, Public Relations suffer from its own public relations image.
Although public relations professionals are often seen as simple party planners, Public Relations can–and should–play a central role in any organization. Public Relations should not simply be viewed as a tool to promote good things about the company–bad things happen too. The key is honesty.
Your company’s image should stem from reality. From that, develop powerful messages that resonate with all audiences. In today’s information age, organizations need to recognize Public Relations should be on the leadership team–not simply relegated to plan a ribbon cutting, write a press release or respond to a crisis when they haven’t been in the Boardroom.
Public relations professionals should also serve as opinion leaders when it comes to corporate communication–helping identify, create and direct strategic messages. Ideally, public relations professionals serve as a liaison between your company and those with a stake in your organization.
Tragically, many companies take an axe to Public Relations staff when budget problems arise. Big mistake. Studies have repeatedly shown that successful companies prepare to emerge from economic downturns—and Public Relations are an integral part of that process. We recommend enhanced communication between company leaders and public relations personnel who will–you’ll see– earn the support of the leadership team.