The line between marketing and Public Relations (PR) is often quite blurry and even for people working in the industry, it can be difficult to fully grasp what each discipline is and how it is beneficial to a brand or product.

Contrary to popular belief, marketing and PR are not two separate disciplines; in fact, one stems from the other. The simplest definition of marketing is the action of a business/individual to promote or sell their products or services. Thus, marketing is an umbrella term for many different disciplines and skills, that all help to ladder back up to that core objective of selling or promoting a brand. Some of these disciplines include advertising, social media marketing, digital marketing and PR.

Public Relations sits under the ‘Marketing’ umbrella. In short, PR is a communications process companies use to get a tailored message to the right audience through various means and is more focussed on maintaining a positive reputation within the market. You can read our PR 101 guide here.

But to help understand a little bit more about how marketing and PR differ from one another, we like to refer to our ABCs.


As a full-service PR Agency, we often get asked by brands to present the best marketing strategies for their product or service. And even though we specialise in Public Relations, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always the most effective tactic for the brand. Therefore, every campaign must start with identifying the target AUDIENCE. Once you understand your target audience, i.e., the people you want to use your product/service, you can determine the best way to market to them.

For example, one of our clients is an e-learning platform called Studiosity. Their primary users are university students, and so, as a PR agency, our job is to determine where these students are most likely to receive their information from. As a result, we can tailor our strategy to focus on the channels they frequent. As a marketer, you need to understand your audience landscape before you do anything else. Your audience will determine how you market a product, what channels you use and what incentives you give to entice them to your brand.

A key stumbling block for many brands come when they assume they know their target audience and how to communicate with them. The key differentiator here for a marketer is that they are looking to sell and promote to that audience, whereas a PR agency will find the best ways to communicate with them. The audience might be the same, but the execution is different.  


Marketing has many measurement metrics, but largely involves the impact of campaigns on a company’s revenues, since acquiring and retaining customers leads directly to income. Marketing can be a measurable, sometimes short-term business investment, whereas PR is a long-term, more qualitative effort aimed at ongoing reputation management.

Marketing is about a specific activity such as encouraging shopping, brand merchandizing, and selling new products. It can be more specific than PR, but still encompasses everything in the cycle of acquiring and retaining customers. And so, we encourage all our clients to take a step back and ask themselves, what are your true business objectives and how do you hope to achieve them?

Business objectives are more than just growth figures and cost projections. Your business objectives are the results you hope to achieve as you run and grow your business, and this can include:

  • Brand awareness
  • Database or social media growth
  • Winning company awards
  • Growing your staff numbers
  • Improving company culture

This is where PR can play a crucial difference in helping brands achieve this. Over time, the concerted PR efforts that businesses make are absolutely key to achieving these long-term business objectives and even other metrics you might not have thought were possible.  


When it comes to the marketing vs. PR, communications is the final, if not most important, factor to consider when commencing your brand awareness campaigns. In marketing, all communications channels should be open and explored including media, social media, advertising (digitally + physically), word of mouth, events, etc. Whereas contrastingly, PR is very much targeted towards third party media or influencer platforms to pick up on news or angles that help share the brand’s message with key consumers, to create third party credibility.

As a PR agency, this often means we spend a lot of our time pitching to media to secure ‘earned editorial pieces’ as opposed to paid ads or sponsored content. Some of the communications materials we generate include press releases, newsletters, media alerts, blogs/content stories and reactive news opportunities. While the lack of control may seem like a drawback in exploring PR, it helps build trust with the public if the communication comes from a third-party source.


Overall, PR and marketing go hand and hand, each with its specific focus that should be integrated. However, PR and marketing are both business functions that often retain their own distinct purposes, focuses, and media to reach the target audience. It’s important that you find a PR agency that knows how to incorporate both marketing and conventional public relations strategies to get the best results for your brand.

If you’re interested in learning more about PR or are looking to find out how you can market your brand or service, please get in touch with us today at

By Agent Emilie