I came across an article I had torn out of a magazine entitled, “What Is Public Relations?” a while back. It’s an excellent question and – since you’re here on my Marketing focused site – bears expounding on to explain.

Public Relations, commonly called PR, can be defined in a few ways, all based on the core of communicating the companies message to the public and managing those relationships. I like how the article stated it:

“It is the deliberate, planned, and sustained effort to establish and maintain communication and mutual understanding between an organization and its public.”

Marketing opportunities are complemented by public relations

Marketing opportunities are complemented by public relations

PR is its own animal – just as marketing is its own, advertising too – as well as sales. They are all different and need some defined parameters so we don’t mush them all together, which sadly happens too much.

When I was speaking with 2 different audiences last week about marketing, I didn’t even think to bring up PR. Maybe because I separate them to begin with. Marketing is communication. It’s the pull you want to generate to bring people in, to attract them to you and your work, brand and goodies. Advertising is a push; you put together information and send it out into the world, never being able to tell where the ad seeds land – it’s a big leap of faith (Happy Leap Day, by the way). Sales is the results of all of these together – marketing, advertising and public relations.

Here’s a good video on What Is Advertising and another on the Difference of Sales & Marketing. Lisa’s an excellent resources for this arena as well.

It’s important to know the difference and then execute them as such. Keep the lines clear, even though they certainly can and do (happily) overlap. As long as the overlap isn’t a total shadow of one to another – they should complement each other.

Knowing the differences, as well as overlapping synergies, are important for you to make progress with all your endeavors.

So enjoy your Public Relations. It’s a great way to put a face to a company, brand and organization that may otherwise remain cloudy for your constituents.