Below are five key distinctions between Public relations and marketing.
1: While Public Relations (PR) lays more emphasis on managing an organization's reputation by sustaining favorable media coverage and promoting mutual understanding amongst its interest groups, marketing seeks to achieve its objectives through direct promotional means - such as advertising.
2: Duration: While the benefits of investing in Deliberate, Sustained and Planned PR activities can be reaped in the long-term, the impact of direct marketing promotional activities such as advertising can be reaped in the immediate term through increased sales.
3: Direction: At its core, Public Relations tends to focus more on nurturing and sustaining relationships with varied interest groups as they relate to an organization, marketing on the other hand lays greater prominence on an organization's products, goods and services.
4. Target: In public relations the target of various media campaigns are split across what is known in PR parlance as publics, which comprises particular stakeholders or interest groups to an organization. These include: Employees, the media, regulators, shareholders, buyers and suppliers.
In marketing campaigns the customer is the target and the focus is mainly channeled towards identifying and meeting customers needs.
5: While PR activities are largely achieved through earned media or "free publicity" - via news mediums, such as blogs, newspapers and journals; marketing activities are largely actualized through paid media.