Public Relations and the Traditional Marketing Function

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Often times other industries perceive PR as a silo, off in our own little world… When in reality successful PR is marked by its relationships with other departments like Marketing for example. The very definition of PR (from the Public Relations Society of America) is “A strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

Respectively, according to The American Marketing Association, Marketing is “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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Clearly PR and Marketing have a lot of cross over. But what really is the relationship between PR and Marketing? Below are just a few reflections of the PR and Marketing bond.


PR and Marketing work together to communicate their respective strategies and execute harmoniously to communicate to the proper audiences.


Consistency is crucial to success. PR and Marketing tell the same story across advertisements, media placements, branding and more to avoid brand confusion.


Whether it be traditional ad buys or social media, both PR and Marketing unite to develop content and graphic designs in order to gain/increase sales.


It is the nature of both PR and Marketing to provide counsel to organizations in order to have a successful image and effective outreach to audiences.

In short, the relationship between PR and Marketing is positive and collaborative.

As an integrated marketing firm, MCCI’s departments work together seamlessly to tell our client’s story. Not only does our PR & Media Relations department team up with Marketing & Advertising, but also with Social Media, Video and Web & Digital. This collaboration leads to effective client relationships resulting in client successes!

Public relations tools or methods

Creation and maintenance of a good public reputation is a complex and ongoing process. Without an effective PR, it is very difficult to reach the attention of the target audience and much less to influence their opinion and decisions. But when the relationship with the target group is finally established, it needs to be maintained in order to keep it on a high level. The process works similar to the interpersonal relationships. When two people lose contact, they pretty much disappear from each other lives no matter how close they used to be. And the same happens with the target audience if the established relationship is not maintained.

Common PR Tools and Techniques

In order to build a relationship with the target audience and maintain it on a high level, PR specialists use a variety of tools and techniques. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Attendance at public events
  • In order to attract public attention and keep it engaged with a particular organization or an individual, PR specialists take an advantage of every public event and the opportunity to speak publicly. This enables them to directly reach the public attending the event and indirectly, a much larger audience.

  • Press releases
  • Information that is communicated as a part of the regular TV or/and radio program, newspapers, magazines and other types of mainstream media achieves a much bigger impact than advertisements. This is due to the fact that most people consider such information more trustworthy and meaningful than paid adds. Press release is therefore one of the oldest and most effective PR tools.

  • Newsletters
  • Sending newsletters – relevant information about the organization or/and its products/services – directly to the target audience is also a common method to create and maintain a strong relationship with the public. Newsletters offering promotional products are also a common marketing strategy but PR specialists use it to share news and general information that may be of interest to the target audience rather than merely promoting products/services.

  • Blogging
  • To reach the online audience, PR specialists use the digital forms of press releases and newsletters but they also use a variety of other tools such as blogging and recently, microblogging. It allows them to create and maintain a relationship with the target audience as well as establish a two-way communication.

  • Social media marketing
  • Like its name suggests, it is used primarily by the marketing industry. Social media networks, however, are also utilized by a growing number of PR specialists to establish a direct communication with the public, consumers, investors and other target groups.

Advantages and disadvantages of public relations

Public relations (PR) can help raise your business’ profile and improve your reputation. If done well, it can be a cost-effective way to get your message to a large audience. However, it can be tricky to guarantee success. Consider the benefits and challenges to make the most of PR in your business.

The advantages of PR include:

  • Influence – audiences are more likely to trust messages coming from an objective source rather than paid-for advertising messages. It is one of the most credible forms of promotion and can be persuasive.
  • Reach – a good story can be picked up by several news outlets, exposing your message to a large audience.
  • Cost-effectiveness – PR can be an economical way to reach a large audience in comparison to paid for advertising media placement, particularly if it is done in-house.

Some of the downsides of PR include:

  • No direct control – unlike advertising, you can’t exactly control how your business is portrayed by the media, when your message will appear, and where it will be placed.
  • No guaranteed results – you may spend time and money on writing a press release, getting suitable photography and speaking with journalists, but you can never guarantee your story will be published. This can result in a poor return-on-investment.
  • Evaluation – it can be difficult to measure the effectiveness of PR activities. You can count media mentions and published stories, but it’s harder to determine the impact this has on your audience.

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