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What’s The Difference Between PR and Marketing?

Updated: Apr 29

The question did you know? is pictured. Below it says PR is marketing but marketing is not PR. Next, in speed marks is the question "What is the difference between marketing and PR?". Below this is

One of the most common questions I get is what’s the difference between PR and marketing. PR is marketing but marketing is not PR. If you’re scratching your head at this, read on to learn the difference.

What Do They Mean?

Marketing is the activity of promoting and helping to sell a product or service. It encompasses many forms of marketing including advertising, SEO, and branding to name a few.

PR is a form of marketing. Public relations or PR is how organisations communicate with the public intending to maintain a positive perception. It aims to influence public opinion and persuade people to support the company or person.

To add another complication, PR also breaks down into traditional and digital PR. Traditional PR relies on conventional media outlets like newspapers, magazines, television, and radio to convey messages to the public. Although these avenues are still influential, especially for brands with an older demographic, it can be harder to measure the effectiveness of the campaigns beyond coverage count and brand mentions. Digital PR, on the other hand, is centred around building an online presence through channels such as websites and blogs and creating shareable and viral content that can gain attention on social media. It can garner a much higher reach than through print and other traditional media outlets. Additionally, the impact of a digital PR campaign can be measured through more than just brand mentions; metrics such as social shares, backlinks, domain authority (DA), reach and web traffic analysis can be compiled to determine its success.

The Aims & Effects

Marketing is an umbrella term for the many forms of marketing. It makes defining the effects tricky as each category has unique goals and effects however, as a whole, marketing aims to grow revenue.

PR has several aims. Again, it’s important to look at the individual types of PR and their effects. Traditional PR grows brand awareness and shapes perception. Digital PR aims to build backlinks leading to your website appearing higher in search results.

How PRs and Marketers Communicate

A marketer's communication toolbox includes every channel you can think of. Depending on the form of marketing they may use social media, emails, paid adverts and websites to name just a few.

PRs generally communicate information and tell stories using press releases, PR stunts, events, and email pitches. We position our clients positively and create noise around them.


Marketing is the easiest of the two to measure. You can measure marketing effects often in quantitative terms such as return on investment, conversion rates and click-through rates.

PR can be trickier to measure. In traditional PR, you often need to assess qualitative and quantitive data. You can measure direct sales from press coverage. However, the majority of the impact is usually the long-term brand awareness, trust, customer acquisition and non-direct sales. Digital PR is more straightforward. You can see the amount of backlinks secured and the effect on your domain authority (DA).

Marketing and PR should work as a team. Both make the other more impactful. Speak to us and we’ll advise you on your next steps.

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