The differences and symbiotic relationship between PR, Marketing and Advertising


If you were to determine the three most important aspects of communication for your business or brand, hands down they would be PR, marketing and advertising. While this trio is often in sync and always interconnected, they also stand firmly alone in what their goals, objectives and work look like.

In this post, I’m going to break down the main differences between each, how they work individually, and also how they work together. I, as well as many other PR professionals, have found myself facing clients’ ambitious expectations for a process that requires a good deal of time. My objective with this post is to explain the investment of time (as well as money) required to build positive, long-lasting public relations as well as a well-rounded brand story that is shared accurately and beautifully with an engaging target audience.

Advertising - Here, all the dollars are spent for exposure. This includes paid social media posts and boosting posts, Google AdWords, newspaper and magazine ads, sidebar ads on websites - you get the point. You’re paying for the exposure you’re receiving - there was probably little to no communication with a writer or photographer; you’re working directly with an advertising and sales department in whichever press outlet and you’ll have to send in high-res images and will supply information about your brand in a rigid number of characters. It strictly and highly visual in this day and age, with video offering the highest form of engagement and thus, potential on return. Here, sales trumps brand-building.

Marketing - This, like PR, is a more consistent, foot-on-the-ground type of communication strategy. Your marketing person or team is going to be savvy on consumer trends, branding necessities, blogging and video blogging, creating content, analytics reporting, long-running advertising campaigns (such as with social influencers) and innovative communications. There may be some news distribution, but this is more focused on direct engagement and thus, rather immediate sales. Here, you’ll see the most direct crossroad of brand-building and sales.

PR - PR is the most time-relative process. I can’t stress this enough: PR TAKES TIME. The workload here is focused on events, news and press distribution, pitching for features (not paid!), managing social media, impressions/mentions reporting, connecting clients with vessels for successful marketing campaigns (influencers, brands, etc. - PR can represent both a product and a blogger.) The ultimate aim is to build connections for the brand to establish and grow its image and loyalty base, particularly through garnered media attention. Here, brand-building trumps sales. PR often intersects with advertising since marketing campaigns do bolster a brand’s visibility, especially in our society now which is so heavily blanketed with digital advertising via social media.

Perry Rose Media uses particular tactics of all three - offering consulting and strategic planning for marketing campaigns and where to use ad dollar; using company milestones, events, news and story angles so that press can tell the story of the company to its own audience (driving traffic to the brand.)

Each client has a tailored and unique set of goals, objectives and of course, budget concerns and our services are equally tailored and unique. If you’d like to schedule a discovery call or consultation to see what we can do to grow your brand and establish a more solid communication strategy, contact Alex here.