Clients and curious business owners regularly ask us: What is the difference between public relations, marketing, and advertising?
While the line between the three practices has blurred considerably in the social media/digital advertising era, there are still very distinct lines to be drawn between them.
The fastest way we can explain it is with what we call the Communications Rainbow (patent pending!).
- Advertising: This is the practice of grabbing people’s attention. TV, radio, outdoor, and digital ads are placed and work to showcase solutions to problems OR generate awareness of a product or service. Ads get people to raise their hand and say, “I would like to know more.”
- Marketing: Once someone indicates interest in your product or service, marketing begins its work. Marketing is anything that allows the consumer to learn more about you – ex. Website, social media channels, product displays, packaging, etc. These are tangible things that people can interact with and gain more knowledge. Marketing converts.
- Public Relations: PR is your reputation manager. Publicity and community engagement showcase the best aspects of your company’s leadership, culture, and products and services. This practice can elevate your company from good to great in the eye of the public. It can also help repair a brand that has been damaged. Note: PR can also help in conversion, especially if your brand is more visible than your competitor’s. People want to buy from trusted sources. PR can take your brand promise and tell the world in a very organic/non-advertorial way.
This is just the start. Each practice has its own set of sub-services that can assist in generating awareness, converting prospects to customers, and showcasing what’s great about you.
To continue the discussion, call me at 210.390.5546. Email works, too.
Cheers to your company’s success!