In the marketing parlance, public relations refer to the process of informing the public so that they will view your products or brand favourably. Marketing goes beyond the spreading of information. It seeks to create a satisfying long-term relationship with the customers for the purpose of gaining profit, establishing a customer base and fostering customer loyalty. This contrast in definition brings us to the major differences between public relations and marketing:
Marketing has a two-fold purpose – identify target market and create strategies to reach them. PR aims to do two things – develop visibility and build a good corporate image and reputation.
Public relations influence the media and create and maintain relationships with organisations or individual stakeholders to achieve business goals. It uses three major techniques:
- Audience targeting
- Social media marketing
The marketing process, on the other hand, involves several levels, from Product orientation to Marketing orientation. That being said, marketing needs business strategies, while PR is concerned on how it can appeal to a target audience. But, in reality, both of them are staged processes that require careful, planning and diligent implementation to reap the best results.
Similarities between public relations and marketing
Marketing and public relations both use audience targeting, PR targets people who will listen or view the message or advertisement, while marketing targets a particular group of consumers who are most likely to take action upon receiving the message. Audience targeting enables businesses to create content and deliver messages that appeal to a specific group of people. By doing so, they can include information other than the 4P’s of the marketing mix and focus on that specific group. For example, lending businesses have a wide target market. But they focus on a specific target audience for their PR and marketing, such as people with bad credit, rather than the whole market of borrowers.
Using both PR and marketing to obtain business goals
If you’re into business, it is important to consider various factors when targeting a specific audience and market. This is especially important for startups with limited cash flow. By creating a target audience/market, you can focus your efforts to a specific group of people who are most likely to give a positive response to your efforts.
A good example is when you are a credit repair business. Create content that will appeal to people with poor credit scores and limited income. You can also consider other factors such as the daily needs of the self-employed and the working class, people’s attitude on debt and low credit rating, and other specific details that could help you create certain customer personas. By reducing your target market and creating a specific audience, you will not only save money on your campaigns, but you can also expect a much better response than sending a generalised message to anyone.
People in the adult industry can also include common factors like age, marital status and specific cities or towns rather than simply focusing on people within a specific age range. At the same time, your message should also be interesting to people outside of this persona you created. So, make sure that it still matches the common standards, in terms of quality, quantity, social values and norm.
Factors that impact marketing and PR
Modern marketing and press release involves digital media. In fact, it is easy to sell to a wide range of consumers nowadays, with social media, mobile apps and the internet itself. But, it also complicates the consumer’s buying behaviour. The vast competition, genuine and organic marketing campaigns, integration of psychology in marketing and the advancement of visual technology—made companies grappling for attention more than ever. While these factors have given every business-no matter how small or big they are—an equal opportunity to succeed in this competitive world of business, it is very challenging for entrepreneurs with a limited budget. So, the difference now lies in how you use these factors to your advantage.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when implementing public relations and marketing strategies:
- What are the objectives of my organisation?
- How will these strategies satisfy the organisation’s objectives?
- What are the needs and wants of my target audience?
- How can these strategies satisfy my consumers’ needs more effectively than my competitors?
- How can I implement these strategies in the most cost-effective way?
A rich understanding of your readiness to answer to these questions can help you understand the needs and wants of your customers. It also guides you in letting these people know about your readiness and ability to meet those needs.
Public relations and marketing are essential components of a successful business. Both of them places the consumers’ desires on top of their goals, compels the organisation to improve in order to meet those needs and challenge them to promote their products and convey the brand’s message in the most effective way possible.