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How does PR differ from Advertising and Marketing?

PR vs Marketing

There are many ways that organizations and people promote themselves and their products or services. As a PR company, we often hear people confuse the terms PR, advertising, and marketing for one another, use them interchangeably or just think they all mean the same thing. There are a few differences, however.


Marketing refers to the general increasing of public awareness of a person, product, service, or business. Both advertising and PR fall under the marketing umbrella term. A marketing team would be responsible for identifying target customers, researching the market, and putting a marketing budget in place for product launches as well as evaluating campaigns’ success.

Those concerned with marketing usually have an audience that are customers or potential customers. They’re focused on promoting products specifically to boost sales.


On the other hand, advertising is a type of marketing where a target audience is persuaded to buy a product or service. Advertising can happen via radio, print publications, television, posters, flyers, billboards, the internet, and SMS. That’s not all, either. Advertising organizations are always coming up with new ways to reach their audiences.

Advertising is a method of executing marketing, and the audience is also mostly customers or potential customers. It focuses on drawing attention to goods or services by planned and thought-out placement and imagery.


PR, which stands for personal relations, is concerned with creating, maintaining, or even restoring a public image that’s favorable and positive. It’s done by relationship building and reputation management.

PR is a component of marketing, but its audience varies. It can be customers, but it can also be the media, internal employees, and fans (if the subject is a pop-star for example).

PR officers act as representatives for their clients in public when their client needs to comment or give a statement. They usually write press releases, contact media professionals, and keep records of mentions of their clients in the press or on the internet.

Major differences

Advertising and PR both exist within marketing. Their goals are what sets them apart. They are:

  •   Marketing – gaining new customers; creating, fostering, and maintaining a good relationship with customers for the long run.
  •   Advertising – informing, reminding, or persuading customers or potential customers about a brand, product, service, or person.
  •   PR – creating, maintaining, protecting, enhancing, or restoring the positive reputation of a brand, product, service, or person.


The activities that people who work PR, advertising, and marketing respectively perform are also different.

  •   Marketing – advertising, market research, publicity/public relations, merchandising, sales, distribution.
  •   Advertising – creating and distributing advertisements for TV, radio, print, direct mail, billboards/signs, banner and website ads, pay-per-click ads, social media ads, etc.  
  •   PR – media relations, press relations, sponsorships, partnerships, speaking engagements, business or community events, etc.
PR, advertising, and marketing are no longer as distinguishable

All of these activities, while ultimately different, all work together in gaining support and increasing sales.

However, one thing is true no matter the industry – trust plays a key role. Trust can tip the scales and turn potential customers into lifelong customers, and the best way to create, build, and maintain trust is with PR. Any person or company that can enhance its reputation via some unique PR can enjoy an influx of new customers and clients as well as new connections with other brands and people.

PR can change the way that people view a person or company and enhance online and offline presence. It works in tandem with marketing activities, can mitigate crises, and often means that others praise a brand or person rather than themselves, which looks better!

Public relations is a long game that always pays off. If you’re still confused or are interested to learn more, we’re confident that we have the answers you’re looking for.

Here at Victorious PR, we help impactful leaders and businesses be seen and heard to have a greater influence on the world. If you have any questions or would like extra info, don’t hesitate to contact us – we’d love to show you why honored us by choosing us as one of the best PR firms in Las Vegas 2021!

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