Does My Small Business Need Marketing or Public Relations?

Difference Between PR & MarketingWhen faced with the dilemma of how to increase traffic to your business, it may be difficult to decide whether you should take a plan of action revolved around marketing or a plan of action revolved around public relations.

Although some may think marketing and public relations are essentially the same thing, this simply is not the case. First take a look at these definitions of marketing and public relations to give yourself a better sense of what they really are.

Marketing: The activities of a company related to buying and selling a product or service to a certain target audience. To reach a target audience, different tactics are used that are associated with advertising, selling, and delivering products to customers. In essence, marketing is the combination of everything that a company does to gain customers and preserve a lasting relationship with them.

Public Relations (PR): The practice of communicating with the entire public. The main focus of public relations is to present your company (or person) in a positive light to create a strong public image for your company (or person). Businesses use various tactics through the news and the press to cultivate a good relationship with the public.

As you can see, marketing and public relations focus on two completely different areas, and therefore, create different outcomes. While marketing targets a specific audience to promote a product/service, public relations tries to highlight a company’s attributes to the entire public and project a desired image. In essence, marketing is closely tied to generating sales and revenues (tangible) whereas public relations works on bringing positive awareness and favorable attitudes to your business (intangible).

Ultimately, if your primary goal is to strengthen sales in a specific period of time, your best strategy is to focus on marketing, effectively maximizing the resources you are willing to invest.

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