Marketing VS PR: What you need to know

January 25, 2023

While several differences exist between marketing vs PR, many individuals tend to assume they are the same. But as you’ll see in a short while, placing an equal sign between them is a big mistake. 

If your firm has just started its marketing journey, it would be worthwhile to take some time to understand the principle differences between the two. And as you do this, make sure to visit job headhunters here to learn what it can do for your hiring needs. 

Traditional definitions of marketing vs PR

Before you can learn the differences between marketing vs PR, it makes sense first to note their definitions. 

Marketing is the business or action of promoting and selling various products and/or services, including advertising and market research. Public Relations (PR) is the act of maintaining a favorable public image by a person, organization, or other company. 

Differences between marketing vs PR

The primary difference between these two terms is that one focuses on selling products, while the other tries to ensure a company has a positive reputation. Below is a look at their main differences.

Target Audience

Marketing and PR strategies tend to target different audiences. For example, a marketer will typically target the people making the purchase decision, i.e., the customer. They must find the right target group to achieve the firm’s economic goals. 

Public Relations (PR) focuses on a much broader audience. It can target influencers, customers, media, and other potential stakeholders. The strategy employed at any one time will depend on what the company wants to achieve at that particular moment. 


On a typical day, you’re likely to find a marketing professional: 

  • Creating an ad campaign for an upcoming product 
  • Conducting client and industry research to influence the direction of a campaign 
  • Buying advertising slots for a campaign on different platforms, including social media 
  • Drafting a weekly newsletter to send out to the subscribers 

And the PR professional will be: 

  • Writing a press release related to an upcoming company initiative 
  • Building relationships with influencers and media personalities at industry events 
  • Pitching positive stories about the company to the media 
  • Updating and managing company messaging 

Metrics measured in marketing vs PR

The best way to prove ROI and plan for future investments and campaigns is to measure key metrics and use different KPIs. Both marketing and PR teams need to prepare reports on these metrics on an ongoing basis to further insights and spot emerging trends.

 However, these two teams often use the available data in distinct ways. For example, a marketing professional determines the success of a campaign by determining whether it met or exceeded the goals set earlier. 

On the same breadth, the PR team will measure the impact achieved by its efforts by looking at the amount of positive press that its campaign generated on various fronts. For this, it will consider its mentions in trade publications, online, and in other media outlets. 


Although marketing and PR campaigns are unique in their own way, the reality is that you can’t market a product or service without doing some PR and vice versa. Their end goals are too intertwined for either to work without the other. You need both profiles for your product to sell and for your company to look good.

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