Marketing Without PR Is Like A Dream Without A Goal

A company with marketing and no PR is akin to having a store that no one knows about.

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Wondering how PR and marketing work hand in hand? There is confusion if PR is part of marketing or is it an independent function. How much do the two differ from each other? Or is there a fine line between the two?

We've all read the textbook definition of the differences between the two: Marketing supports sales mainly using advertising whilst PR supports brand building using press.

If we break down the roles of Marketing, PR & Sales in Business Development:

  • The role of PR and of media in general (including social media) is to engage with the audience, create awareness and build thought leadership
  • The role of marketing is to get people relate with the brand. As Phillip Kotler, the god of marketing defines says: "Marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit."
  • The goal of sales is to get people to keep buying the product and fall in love with it

In the age of Digital Disruption we can see that the lines between PR & Marketing are blurring and brands are moving towards integrated marketing strategy. Integrated Communications broadly applies to organizations as a collective group, not just a business; and publics encompass the variety of different stakeholders.

The truth is, you can't do marketing without investing in PR, and you can't do PR without marketing. The end goals — selling products and making people love a company—are intertwined.

In many companies, marketing, PR, and communications are all integrated together under one department for organizational efficiency and scalability. As a result, people tend to conflate marketing and PR, and that's not entirely bad. Both are responsible for communicating to prospective customers and both are necessary to keep the sales process operating. A company with PR and no marketing is akin to having a store with no displays and just a cash register at the end of a hallway. A company with marketing and no PR is akin to having a store that no one knows about. You need both to be effective.

What is important is that your company is viewed favourably by the public, and if people aren't connecting with your overall brand, they're not going to buy your products. You may or may not choose to work with an agency (depending on the size of your business and how much free time you have), but you do need earned media. You do need people talking about you. You do need people telling friends about you.