Are PR and marketing the same thing?

3 October 2022

While marketing and public relations share a number of similarities, they also have many differences that make them both unique terms.

But how are they the same, how are they different, and how does each work to benefit your brand?

What is PR?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, PR  is the activity of keeping good relationships between an organisation and the people outside it.

Public relations focus on how brands and businesses promote themselves to and communicate with audiences that are important to the organisation, such as new and existing customers, employees, investors, the government, and the media.

PR is an important part of every business, including start-ups, to help build up a respectable, reliable, and maintainable positive reputation.

What is marketing?

Marketing is the process of capturing the attention of the public through the offering of a product or service. It is defined by Cambridge Dictionary as the work of advertising, promoting, and offering goods or services for sale.

Essentially, marketing encourages people to buy and be interested in your business through promotional strategies that aim to increase sales.

Successful marketing focuses on the product, price, place, and promotion of your brand to optimise customer engagement.

How are PR and marketing the same?

Despite not being the same, PR and marketing work in unison to promote and establish your brand.

They have a strong reliance on each other, and both aim to influence the public and outside organisations by delivering positive and effective brand messages.

PR and marketing must also remain consistent across the entire brand. Consistency builds up loyalty, trust, and awareness between your business and its audience. Your PR and marketing should read the same and deliver the same message.

What are the differences between PR and marketing?

Three main differences between PR and marketing are the target audience, the time frame in which they achieve results, and the end goal.


The main goal to be achieved through marketing is to increase sales and engagement with current and potential customers. This is accomplished through advertising campaigns and a powerful social media presence that leads to direct sales.

However, PR aims to build a positive image and a positive perception of the brand. This does not directly impact sales but creates strong relationships with outside organisations through raising brand awareness and giving exposure to the brand’s values and mission.


A target audience is the intended group of people most likely to be interested in your products and services. This group is identified through analytics, insights, and customer engagement.

While PR focuses on building lasting and positive relationships with its target audience of the media, investors, employees, suppliers, and existing customers, marketing has a target audience of new customers and aims to influence them to make a purchase.

Time frame

Marketing focuses on real-time performance and short-term goals. Business goals through marketing aim to generate immediate sales and results. Short-term marketing goals could include a boost in engagement, sales, and website traffic.

Whereas PR is a long-term investment. Building and maintaining a positive brand image takes time and patience. Managing the brand’s position and reputation requires long-term commitment and planning to influence internal and external audiences.

What does your business need?

If you are looking to build and maintain a positive brand image to stakeholders, the media and other important organisations using long-term effective strategies, your business could benefit from public relations.

If you are looking to target potential customers to increase revenue and achieve short-term results through market research, campaigns, and planning, your business could benefit from marketing.

Not sure where to start?

If you’re still not sure how PR and marketing could shape your brand or business, get in touch with us today!

At M.A.D, we can help you create killer PR and marketing strategies that are sure to stop scrollers in their tracks

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