Distinguishing PR and marketing has become a bit difficult with the line getting blurry. With the use of social media in both areas, the difference between the two becomes harder to recognise. It is necessary to analyse the state of PR-marketing relations if professionals are to do their job right. An article on PRweek, http://www.prweek.com/article/1395258/its-complicatedthe-changing-relationship-pr-marketing, takes a look at the various dynamics and the evolution of the PR-marketing relationship. PR is responsible for building the reputation of a company. It is about thought-leadership. Marketing, on the other hand, handles the promotion of brands and products. Both departments are crucial to the structure and success of an entity. However, most organisations have their PR people report to the marketing department even though they should be regarded as equals. Other aspects characterise the changes in how PR relates to marketing.
Measurement has always been a critical element of marketing. When marketers are coming up with advertisements or promotions, they always have to think, what will these achieve? How many sales will this ad campaign generate? PR, on the other hand, doesn’t concentrate too much on results. Mostly it’s because measuring the impact of managing a company’s reputation is somewhat challenging. Valid metrics are lacking. Even with the need to establish measurements in PR, it is necessary to stay away from incontrovertible ideals of gauging successful PR practices.
Another element that factors into the PR-marketing dynamic is skill. PR professionals possess certain skill sets that make it possible to do their jobs. Roles, such as handling journalists or responding to a crisis require individuals with situational fluency. Some PR professionals argue that someone managing public relations should learn about marketing but marketers don’t have to know how PR works. Another clear distinction is that PR is about working in the moment. If a company is getting bad press, the PR department has to work immediately to resolve the issues. However, a marketing team can take several months before they come up with an ad campaign or promotional strategy.
The biggest confusion arises when it comes to content. Digital content distribution has grown dramatically, and that has provided numerous options for content creation. It has become necessary for marketing and communication teams to work to create content. Of course, these two may have entirely different goals for content distribution, but they have to use one company website, and that means finding common ground. One thing is unmistakable; the content has to be great. It doesn’t matter which department is entrusted with putting the content out there; it has to be good enough for the consumers.
It is not a secret that not so long ago, marketing and PR did not see eye to eye. The relationship was adversarial, to say the least. Now these two departments have to complement each other and find alignment, particularly because the tools they use are the same. PR can make it less taxing for marketing messages to be accepted by a certain audience by first working to mould favourable perceptions of an entity. Campaigns and content should receive coordination from both PR and marketing professionals if they are to achieve their intended purposes.