The Real Differences between Marketing and Public Relations


marketing_vs_prThere have always been blurred lines of responsibility in the communications industry. At a time when there are increased technological influences and a steady decline of traditional news platforms, it is even more difficult to determine who is responsible for what.


How can we clearly define the roles of marketing or public relations when so many tasks overlap? How can we determine where the credit, blame and questions should be directed?


Most communications professional would agree that marketing is all about the product and public relations is all about the relationships. However, there are several other ways to draw the line between these equally important industries:


  • Marketing focuses on opening someone’s wallet. PR focuses on opening someone’s heart and mind.
  • Marketing is a one-way communication. PR is a two-way communication.
  • Marketing targets the audience to generate action. PR utilizes the media to build brand awareness.
  • Marketing deals with how you want the world to see your product. PR deals with how the world actually sees your product.
  • Marketing is sales. PR is publics.
  • Marketing is selling a product. PR is creating a presence of people around a product.
  • Marketing creates the vision. PR creates the point of view.
  • Marketing is the development of a product’s branding strategy, while PR is the media relationships executing the marketing strategies.
  • Marketing is the ingredients. PR is the finished dish on display.
  • Marketing focuses on building sales. PR focuses on building trust.


At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter who gets the credit or which department answers the questions. Public relations and marketing are co-dependent. Both must seamlessly work together to maximize brand awareness and continuity.
















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