How are Public Relations and Marketing Related?

By: Katherine White

When it comes to the field of public relations, many people notice an overlap with the field of business, specifically marketing. Let’s take a look at their definitions. According to the Public Relations Society of America, public relations is defined as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” On the other hand, the American Marketing Association defines marketing 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.”

UGA’s minor in business allows all non-Terry students to enrich their knowledge of business and add more value to their degree.

The key word in both of these definitions is “communication.” Both PR and marketing involve the exchange of information between entities. Similarly, PR and marketing are geared towards influencing different publics. It is important to be consistent and respected in order to gain sales, impact purchase decisions and establish an image.

In many cases, companies try to use strong public relations and marketing strategies together. Implementing both has a positive correlation with sales and brand reputation. This is why it is vital for companies to have strong PR and marketing teams that work in conjunction with one another.

Many students here at UGA choose to pursue a general business minor along with a major in public relations for these reasons. The general business minor requires 15 credit hours in economics, accounting, marketing, finance and management. A minor in general business is undoubtedly a valuable minor to add to your resume and degree.

Madison Schaecter, a fellow PRSSA member and PR major, is pursuing a minor in general business. “I thought that it would help me further my studies and broaden my horizons to more job opportunities because they are both closely related in the job field,” she said. Schaecter believes that pursuing a business minor on top of her PR major will give her an advantage in her job search post-graduation.

After taking MARK 3001 alongside classes for her PR major, Schaecter saw similarities between marketing and PR. “They both focus on promoting services or products or brands to people,” she said.

While it is clear that marketing and PR are closely intertwined, they have their differences. “Marketing is more focused on getting people to do an action and PR is more of wanting people to have a certain perspective on items, services or companies,” Schaecter said. Although marketing and PR can work harmoniously, their differences can be unclear.

Both marketing and PR focus on creating success for a certain company. Their differences lie in how this success is achieved. Marketing involves more research and analysis of sales and selling patterns. PR is focused on gaining the same thing: sales. However, PR professionals focus on doing this through a different approach, which includes maintaining a specific reputation.

In short, the definitions of PR and marketing certainly overlap, but they cannot be considered the same. Many companies embrace harmony and collaboration between their PR and marketing teams in order to ensure positive outcomes. There are many PR majors and PRSSA members, like Schaecter, who have decided to pursue UGA’s general business minor in order to expand their knowledge.