It’s a question I get a LOT.
And if you’re among those asking it, you’ve come to the right place.
Don’t feel bad if you think they’re one and the same – it’s a common misconception that even the most seasoned business executives make. On the surface, they do look very similar – both utilize many of the same communication channels and speak to the same audiences. But that’s where the similarities end.
Let’s start with the most basic differences:
- Marketing supports your sales team. It’s the actions you take to support your products and services.
- PR supports your brand and your business as a whole. It builds and maintains your reputation and brand image.
Let that sink in first.
That being said, it’s about to get a little more complicated from here. Strap in.
Before your marketing plan can achieve the best possible ROI, you need to have a PR plan in place.
What does a PR plan do?
Let’s back up for a second.
If your business is new to your industry, that means you’re relatively unknown to your target audience – you haven’t yet established your reputation.
So, while you might even have a product or service that’s superior to your more well-known competition, no one knows about…yet.
How do you build your audience’s interest? Well, you have to build up their trust and confidence first.
If you try to build up interest with the marketing first, you’re likely going to get the equivalent of crickets when your product or service finally debuts.
That’s because people tend to buy from those brands and businesses they’re familiar with and trust. Marketing and advertising focuses on your products and services. You’ve yet to speak to your audience about yourself. Talk up all the product features and benefits you want, but there’s other products on the market like yours – and your audience is already buying them – why should they pay any attention to you?
This is where public relations becomes critical to your marketing efforts. Before your audience ever hears of your offerings, a Public Relations plan creates and pushes messaging that places you in the best possible light.
You now may be thinking, “Okay, so I’ll write a press release.”
That’s a common response. But like one brochure within your marketing plans, press releases are just one tool within a much larger, multi-faceted PR plan.
While your marketing plans can include:
- Landing pages
- TV and radio commercials
- Social media and print ads
- And so on
Your public relations plan is comprised of:
- Marketing research
- Press Releases and other written PR product
- Social media communication plans
- Article media placements
- B2B or B2C Email campaigns
- Television and radio interviews
- And more
How does a PR plan help your marketing plan?
- While you’re prepping your marketing, the PR is already working for you:
- Press releases are going out with newsworthy content that catches the eyes of journalists.
- Conversations are happening on multiple social media platforms, creating consistent engagement with your audiences.
- You’re being featured in articles in highly respected, popular media outlets.
- You’re doing interviews as an industry thought leader.
- All the while, your third-party credibility is building. The press is coming to you for stories. Your prospects are talking to you. People are beginning to recognize your name.
And with time and consistency, your reputation is established.
That means marketing doesn’t have to work nearly as hard. The selling becomes easier. Less time and money need to be invested. Your ROI goes up and up…
Why? Because once the marketing starts, your buyers already know you. They trust you. And that builds in the confidence they need to buy from you.
Now that you know the important differences between marketing and PR and why you need both to succeed, let’s get your own PR campaign to start working for you. Let’s start you off with a complimentary PR Evaluation today!