Public Relations and marketing are two professions that work well together in accomplishing a main goal of understanding your consumer and the relationship they have with your brand or product.
My knowledge and interest for both fields of study has grown over the time I have been pursuing both degrees. Lack of knowledge about either profession creates misperceptions and judgments. Therefore, having a clear understanding of the similarities and differences is important in a competitive market.
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A technical definition of public relations is a management function that uses two-way communication to receive information from and give information to an organization’s various publics (Rothberg, 2011). An important distinction between public relations and marketing is that public relations use tools that are less costly, while still reaching a large audience.
The primary tools of public relations are press releases, feature stores, publicity, sponsored event, interviews and press conferences. It is essential for these tools to be sincere because consumers will see right through it. Also, if it does not feel authentic to the consumer the effort loses its value and impact.
Public Relations is an important aspect of a company as its efforts generate free exposure due to increased press coverage. Many marketers would agree to say that public relations is a more memorable and impactful way in reaching the goal of a consumer.
Marketing can be defines as consisting of actions designed to elicit desired responses from a targeted audience (Oakley, 2010). Marketing is pervasive in consumers’ daily lives. Its effects are embedded in everything we do: from the clothes we chose to wear, to the ads we see around us, to the internet websites we chose to visit (Oakley, 2010).
A common misperception about marketing is that its main goal is selling the product. Nevertheless, marketing is not selling. Marketing is all about customer needs and using integrated marketing to profit through customer satisfaction (Oakley, 2010).
I think both marketers and public relations practitioners have a limited and selective knowledge about each other’s profession. Misperceptions and judgments are easy to make when we lack knowledge. After all both public relations practitioners and marketers are creative, passionate, and willing to think outside the box. They both approach a market from a relationship standpoint and design messages around the needs and perceptions of the target audience.
By Meliha Krvavac