8 Aug

The Difference Between Public Relations and Marketing

Kaity Dunn

Account Associate

Often when I’m spreading the word at networking events about RMC capabilities as a Cincinnati public relations agency, I receive confused looks when I explain that I work in public relations. One person I met recently responded with, “Public relations? Isn’t that just emailing?” Unfortunately he asked me this just as I was taking a sip of my water, and I almost choked in dismay. I’ve found that confusion regarding what public relations is and how it is different from marketing is not uncommon. In fact, I was actually on Twitter the other day, answering questions about the difference between public relations and marketing. In order to set the record straight and/or provide a refresher, I have provided some definitions below.

Marketing: Marketing involves any writing and strategy around selling and promoting a product or service. Marketing involves moving goods from the seller to the buyer. The results are measured in sales.

Public Relations: Public relations involves strategies to encourage understanding and goodwill towards a company and its products or services. It is measured in the amount of good will by word of mouth, social media participation and survey data. Public relations can be a myriad of media relations, event planning and content strategy. It involves message development and the creation of a communications plan based on quantitative and qualitative research.

In short, marketing is convincing people to purchase your product or service. Public relations involves getting people to believe in who you are as a person or company. For more information, check out our public relations page.


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