Public Relations vs. Marketing: Are the Two Becoming One?

PR and Marketing Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’re aiming to have a successful business, you can’t neglect your public relations or marketing strategies. Both of these efforts are what allow for successful relationships with customers. For many years, these campaigns have been known as separate entities, with different strategies and outcomes. But as marketing and public relations continue to develop to match the changing commerce landscape, are they becoming the same process?

Public Relations vs. Marketing

While they have some similarities, public relations and marketing currently have some distinctions. Public relations efforts work to build favorable relationships with key groups for a business, and they often target a broad spectrum of audiences, including customers, employees, suppliers, investors, and the media. You can identify a successful PR campaign by the quality and number of relationships built between a business and other parties.

Marketing campaigns, on the other hand, gear toward customers with the intent of promoting and selling products and services. This can include conducting market research to build better advertising plans. Depending on a company’s goals, it may measure a successful marketing campaign by sales numbers, profit, ROI, and other key metrics.

However, the line between these two efforts isn’t as clear-cut as it was before. Naturally, having good public relations can promote marketing, and effective marketing can influence public relations – and you need both to achieve success. Targeting public relations and marketing campaigns to specific audiences can help yield specific results, but many companies are seeing an overlap between the two.

Public Relations in Marketing

Both public relations and marketing teams find that there are several areas of overlap between the two efforts; both aim to promote a quality message about your brand, as well as relay and amplify that message. And since they have a common goal, it makes sense that PR and marketing would end up using the same techniques to leverage a company.

For example, content marketing is one of the most effective and cost-friendly ways to promote a business. Having effective content that reaches a wide audience is a matter of careful planning and construction. Since public relationships focuses on building and nurturing relationships, those connections can help you further promote your content and gain additional impressions.

PR also can give great insights into where your company has success in promotion through media. Are there certain news outlets, online sources, and industry publications that your existing and potential customers frequently visit? Then you can use those sources as a targeted area for your advertisement and marketing efforts to better promote your brand and generate leads. Additionally, marketers can give back information on niche markets and consumer trends that PR teams can leverage in their favor.

Those are just some of the potential ways to combine your marketing and public relations efforts. But since the two efforts are working in the same direction, it’s easy to find the benefits of bringing the two together.

Idea Sharing Between Teams

PR teams work to predict the trends within an industry, while marketers find specific targeted customer groups to appeal to. This information does not have to be mutually exclusive, and it can help both teams build a better approach to promoting the company. And with different specialized teams coming together, it’s possible to develop new ideas to keep content fresh and relevant for the audience.

Brand Continuity

Even though they’re working toward the same goal of promoting the company, marketing and PR teams can take very different approaches to how they handle the tone and presentation of their content. When that happens, the brand’s tone becomes inconsistent, which can create confusion for customers. If the two efforts work together and create a shared content calendar, then it becomes much easier to present a unified brand image.

SEO Optimization

A marketing strategy can’t be effective without considering search engine optimization, and marketers spend time on building in specific keywords and other strategies to help bolster search engine optimization. As press releases appear on a variety of places around the internet, they can also benefit from SEO and promote the efforts of the company’s site. Aside from incorporating keywords, press releases can also include effective backlinks to marketing content for better promotion.

Measuring ROI

A common measurement of public relations campaigns is through the relationships built with target areas, with emphasis on reach and impressions. However, those reach and impressions can also impact marketing efforts and bring in sales. Paying attention to when these elements come together is critical for making successful PR campaigns that do have a positive impact on the business. Using media monitoring solutions to monitor the inclusion of relevant website links in PR content can add ROI to the list of measurable outcomes of PR and better inform marketing strategies.

Amplify Content

Both PR and marketing craft their campaigns in ways that really reach and engage the intended audience while promoting brand identity. Creating unified PR marketing campaigns can further amplify the influence and make content reach a wider audience. For this to work, PR teams and marketers need to communicate and see where they can work toward the same targeted objectives in their campaigns.

Building a PR Marketing Strategy

With so many avenues and benefits, building a combined PR and marketing strategy is likely going to be the new trend for businesses of all kinds. Public relations may cover more than just advertising efforts, but it’s impossible to ignore where the two fields overlap. Because they have so much in common, the time is approaching to start preparing for how to take advantage of PR marketing.

Even if you don’t have a comprehensive plan laid out, taking the first steps to have your PR and marketing teams interact more and start to share ideas will facilitate the process. When public relations have succeeded, advertising campaigns are more likely to have an impact. Unified efforts and strategies are looking to be the best way to further boost your company’s influence and reputation. As the market continues to develop, more companies will likely start to use PR marketing – don’t fall behind the curve.