Many business owners are unaware of the difference between PR agencies and Marketing agencies. There are a number of similarities between the two, and they are usually at their best when combined as part of a wider overall strategy. Many people think it’s a case of choosing one or the other, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, they both have their benefits and can be used individually or as a pair. One of the reasons why the two are often mixed up is because PR is so misunderstood.
What is public relations?
When people think of PR they instantly associate it with media relations, but there’s a lot more to it than that! PR is a method of communicating with the public, creating perceptions and increasing brand awareness. Another aspect of public relations is reputation management, if your business receives bad press, a good PR agency will counteract the bad publicity with something positive. Essentially, public relations is all about persuading the public to see your brand in a good light, and if it happens to drive more sales, it’s an even better return on investment.
What is marketing?
Traditionally, marketing has been associated with campaigns developed solely for driving sales and increasing revenue. Sometimes marketing can include public relations as part of an overall campaign. Marketing is about communicating a message to your target audience in a way that makes them want to buy your products or use your services.
Even though the end goal has remained the same, marketing has changed astronomically in recent years. The Digital Side of things in particular has dramatically changed the way in which people market their businesses. Common forms of digital marketing include search engine optimisation, pay per click campaigns, and email marketing.
So what’s the difference between the two?
Marketing is used to drive sales and entice people into buying your product or using your services. Public relations is used to raise brand awareness and create a positive relationship between you, the public and your target audience. However, with social media and content marketing continuing to grow in popularity, the line between the two is becoming more and more blurred.
What is the role of a public relations agency?
The role of a public relations agency is to influence your target audience via third party endorsements from media outlets. Rather than pushing a sales message, using media publications gives your products or services credibility and creates awareness. The public relations agency will either get a story published about your product or service, or get your brand mentioned as part of a story about a particular topic.
PR agencies are very good at sensing media opportunities and coming up with good stories. PR is a great way to educate people about a particular topic: a new product, a service, or a new idea. Essentially, if a PR agency can portray your business positively in the media, sales and brand awareness will follow.
What is the role of a marketing agency?
The role of a marketing agency is quite simple; to drive sales, increase revenue and help you get your brand in front of as many people as possible. Marketing agencies tend to be more aggressive in their approach, usually measuring return on investment based on the amount of money that the campaign generates. A good agency will bring your products or services to market using the most effective and efficient methods possible.
Which is best for my business, a marketing agency or a PR agency?
Determining which agency would benefit your business the most all depends on what you want to achieve. Do you have a new product that you would like to get to market? If so, a marketing agency would be the better option. If you want to raise brand awareness and create trust, a PR agency would be more suitable. Both agency types can benefit your business, it’s just a case of understanding what you want to achieve and how much you want to spend, you can then make an educated decision.