Personification can be defind as the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman – relevant to this blog only because my uncaffeinated mind decided to personify both public relations and marketing on my way into work this morning. And to my uncaffeinated mind, it was incredibly easy to conjure up their physical, personified selves:
Public relations are the proud, loud, exceedingly wealthy parents: quick to shout their child’s accomplishments (Why, yes, Thaddeus did get into all of his university choices on early admission!) yet initially hesitant to accept responsibility for any of the child’s behavior (Why, no, Thaddeus would never take a yacht that didn’t belong to him!).
However, depending upon the severity of the bad behavior (perhaps Thaddeus actually crashed said never stolen yacht), they would eventually resign themselves to acceptance, looking to better the situation through a grandiose apology and the donation of a lot of money (It looks like the university could use a new library wing) which doesn’t actually remedy the situation but helps to either restore the family name, or make the situation disappear altogether.
Marketing, on the other hand, is the best friend emphatically trying to set their friend up with the object of their affection (Sally thinks you two would be great together). Marketing’s all about showing said object of affection why Sally is good for him – the benefits that he will reap, how seamlessly they mesh, their commonalities. Marketing wants to build a relationship, to foster it, to watch it grow and flourish. Though talking up Sally (She loves to cook and play football, just like you!), there is no deception. It is truly about adding value.
What Are Marketing And PR, Really?
Though uncaffeinated and a bit loopy, I think my morning mind was correct, at least in part. Public relations is about growing the name of the company – Thad – and strengthening its perception and relationship with the public. In fact, according to the Public Relations Society of America, “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
Marketing, however, is as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
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Public relations centers around the public, whereas marketing gets specific – looking to add value to customers, clients, and partners – before looking to influence and educate the public. That’s not to say that both are not valuable – both are! However, they are certainly not interchangeable.
The Benefits Of PR
Though Public relations is often mentioned within the marketing and advertising world, its benefits are not always clear, possibly because unlike marketing, its benefits are not always measurable. However, PR, if done correctly (and even without a PR firm) can reach a large audience without the costs of traditional marketing and advertising. How does it do this?
- PR stimulates awareness of (and hopefully the demand for) your company.
- PR strengthens your company’s image and how it is perceived.
- PR can even, through said broadened awareness and different perception, increase search engine visibility and organic searches.
Despite these benefits, public relations is often not strong enough to stand alone; simply a positive perception is generally not enough to measurably and notably increase your company’s revenue. Thus, public relations should be better considered as an integral part of your company’s marketing strategy.
The Benefits Of Marketing
Marketing encompasses many facets of value, and thus can bring forth many measurable benefits. But while there are manydifferent types of marketing strategies, not all are created equal. Before your company or organization spends money on marketing, think about what you’re trying to achieve and what strategies will help you reach your goals. Will you employ a more traditional marketing strategy with advertising, direct mail, etc.? Will you use social media or email marketing? Should you consider content or inbound marketing? Depending on the type of marketing employed, measurable benefits can include:
- Establishment of brand recognition through increased contacts.
- Increase in customer interaction.
- Increase in contact to customer conversions.