For businesses, the terms ‘PR’ and ‘marketing’ are often used interchangeably. Despite being two distinct fields, this isn’t necessarily an unfair mixup; after all, both fields are responsible for getting your brand seen and heard. What’s more, the widespread adoption of social media in PR campaigns means the lines are increasingly blurred.
Regardless, PR and marketing are still worth unpacking as separate areas. Even if crossover between them is inevitable, they can contribute to your brand in unique ways.
So, to disentangle one from the other, let’s break down what PR and marketing each entail.
As the technology and tools we use in campaigns evolve, so too will definitions. Still, let’s take a look at how PR and marketing are defined traditionally:
PR, or Public Relations, is often seen as ‘reputation management’ – which is to say, maintaining and influencing the professional reputation of a given brand.
Marketing, on the other hand, is the process of promoting that brand’s products or services through advertising and organic means.
Both areas have become increasingly digitised even as they become more intertwined. These days, you can’t do good PR without relying on marketing, and vice versa. What’s more, you can’t do either brilliantly without digitising the process to a degree. When marketing to Gen Z in particular, this integrated approach is vital.
What good PR looks like
PR success is most often measured in positive press and social media coverage. When working with a PR agency, for example, this comes from assets created by that agency with the purpose of being shared.
It’s all about crafting something appealing enough to be shared and reshared – the wider the coverage, the more successful the campaign.
What good marketing looks like
In marketing, success is measured in engagement. For example, a campaign advertising a given product is often only deemed successful if that product hits a sales goal.
Engagement can also take the form of generating footfall (to a physical event) and traffic (to a website).
The importance of integration
If PR’s goal is to generate buzz and conversation, marketing’s goal is to turn those conversations into change of behaviour and conversion. This is why we can’t talk about a good PR campaign, without mentioning the other disciplines which played a part, including social media.
Increasingly, PR and marketing are two sides of the same coin. Social media has made this synergy possible, as it falls equally in both worlds.
So, how do you tackle marketing and PR yourself?
As a brand, the integration between the two areas works in your favour. Instead of ‘doing PR’ and ‘doing marketing’, focus on creating one killer campaign and then think about how to activate in PR, and how to activate through marketing. This method will undoubtedly create a more joined-up and successful campaign.
The surest way to find success is with an agency that can do both. At Wild Card, our award-winning approach to PR and marketing is a holistic one; we get brands the coverage they deserve, enabling them to achieve the results they want.