When studying public relations, there is one question that always comes up: how is public relations different from marketing?

Especially when it comes to doing PR for a consumer brand, the line between marketing and public relations is often blurred. We are both trying to change the attitudes and behaviours of our audience through driving brand awareness and key messaging.

The difference between marketing and PR is that marketing is a one-night stand. The goal of public relations is to build lasting relationships with a company’s stakeholders. Marketers create advertisements that run for a few months, before they are forgotten.

When reading the main page of the Edelman website, I was really intrigued with what Richard Edelman had to say about the need of consumers to build relationships with their brands:

“Today, I believe, we’ve entered the era of mass personalization. People expect far greater participation in their favorite brands and companies. They also want news and information when they want it and how they want it, and are increasingly skeptical and distrusting of those in positions of authority[…]We believe that the traditional model of top-down communications, where 90%+ of a marketing budget is spent on advertising to talk at people, is simply no longer effective.”  ( http://www.edelman.com/about_us/welcome/ )

Consumers are bombarded with millions of advertisements daily and it is a struggle for advertisers to think of new ways for their advertisements to get noticed. Companies are now looking for new ways to promote their brand in order to set it apart from the rest.

Companies must be made aware that the ultimate goal is not to sell–it is to build relationships. When a company builds relationships with their buyers, employees, the media and their community, sales automatically follow.

Although their is a lot of overlap between marketing and public relations, they will never be the same because they are not measured in the same way. A marketing initiative is measured by how much sales have increased, whereas a public relations initiative is measured by the quality of relationships that were built. In the long-run, public relations will have a greater affect on the bottom line.

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