Public Relations vs. Marketing – What’s the Difference?

There are a lot of blurred lines when it comes to public relations and marketing. They intertwine so seamlessly that it can be easy to mistake one for the other. Often times when I tell others I work in PR, they’ll usually respond with something along the lines of “oh, so like, you do marketing?” This is usually when I take a deep breath and go into a “well…” explanation.

 

When I was first deciding on what career path I wanted to take in college, all I knew was that I would have to end up taking business classes if I wanted to major in marketing. Which meant math. *Gulps.*  I ultimately chose the public relations route, which I quickly realized was actually pretty similar to marketing. So, what exactly is the difference between PR and marketing? While both industries use similar methods and tactics to achieve results, they ultimately have separate end goals. Let’s take a look.

 

DEFINITIONS

  • Public Relations: PRSA defines public relations as a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. PRSA goes further on to say that PR is about influencing, engaging and building a relationship with key stakeholders across countless platforms in order to shape and frame the public perception of an organization. At Dittoe PR, we pride ourselves on our proven successes with media relations (i.e. Columbus, Aardvark Straws, Western Golf Association, Stericycle Environmental Solutions and more). Not only do we focus on building relationships with media, but we help build the reputation of our clients’ brands, too.

 

  • Marketing: On the flip side, marketing is the action of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. It’s the process of teaching consumers why they should choose your product or service over those of your competitors.

 

GOALS

  • Public Relations: The goal of PR is to help create awareness and trust for a business or brand. As PR professionals, it’s our job to communicate with various audiences to help generate overall awareness and make others believe in the brand. Building this foundation can help a business build brand recognition within audiences and stand out against its competitors. Our goal is to create a trusted relationship with all of our audiences.

 

  • Marketing: The goal of marketing to create a demand for products or services. Marketers help generate demand in audiences by triggering a response and then directing individuals to a product (or service). A marketer’s goal is to eventually create an interested buyer.

 

TACTICS

  • Public Relations: This is often where the lines get blurred. PR and marketing use very similar tactics and methods for different end results. PR professionals rely on media relations efforts to create relationships with media members. Building these relationships can help to create awareness of a business, brand and/or product. We often used earned media efforts, meaning we don’t pay for a mentions or spotlight features; instead, media members will write a story or mention you in a roundup piece, often times solely because a relationship has already been built.

 

  • Marketing: Marketers often used paid media efforts to achieve their goals. Again, this is where things can start to intertwine, because many marketers will end up using tactics PR professionals use with media. It’s just as important to create meaningful relationships with media members. However, marketers will spend advertising dollars to generate overall demand in a product or service.

 

Bottom line: PR uses media to create awareness; marketing uses media to generate demand.

 

Ultimately, when used together, PR and marketing are a force to be reckoned with. When used properly, PR and marketing can encourage people to tell each other about a new restaurant, trust that the restaurant has good food, visit the restaurant and finally buy a meal.

 

Think your business or organization could benefit from public relations? Or interested in hearing more about our full list of services? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com today.

Social Media Advertising: The Basics

So, you want to advertise on social media? Smart choice. Not only is advertising on social media more accessible for small businesses, it’s also more effective.

 

According to the Global Web Index, “the average internet user now spends about 15 minutes longer each day on social platforms than they do watching TV.” With 50 percent of people using Facebook daily, and more than 2.2 billion monthly active users on the platform, this platform is a great place to start.

 

Facebook, and by extension Instagram, is the most popular platform for social media advertising. But depending on the type of ad you’re running or the audience you’re hoping to reach, advertising on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or even YouTube may be a better option.

 

USING VARIOUS PLATFORMS TO PROMOTE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CONTENT

At Dittoe PR, we have clients advertising across the top four social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

 

With each of these platforms, there are obvious differences to the types of content being shared on each channel. For example, using LinkedIn for business-focused content and using Instagram for photo and video sharing. There are also nuanced differences to the types of advertisements you can create, the copy and creative used for each and the demographics available for targeting. Let me break it down for you!

 

Types of ads.

Knowing the difference between when to boost an existing post versus create an advertisement is important. First, look at the copy and creative you plan to use. Many platforms such as Facebook, limit the content for ad copy to less than 100 characters. If you’re looking to share more information, a boosted post may be your best bet. This allows the information to live on your page after the ad has run its course.

 

If you’re promoting an upcoming event, like a flash sale, a grand opening or a hiring announcement, and you’re okay just sharing the essential information – OR – if you want the content to be removed from your page after the ad ends, consider creating an advertisement instead.

 

Demographic targeting.
Each platform offers various demographics to target by, including location, age, gender, income, interests, job title/function, employer and more.

 

Knowing the audience you’re trying to reach with an advertisement is likely the most important step in creating a social media ad. If you end up targeting the wrong group of users, the advertisement will not be successful. A common practice we use at Dittoe PR is reviewing third-party or channel-specific reports for each individual channel, or the channel you plan to promote, and taking a closer look at the age, gender and location of your followers.

 

If you’re trying to target people that don’t currently follow you, reach out to the users with demographics that fall outside of your top followers. But, if you’re trying to promote a new service or newsworthy coverage to your followers, or users like them, targeting your top follower demographics is a great idea!

 

For example, one of our client’s goals this quarter is to reach a larger audience of fitness enthusiasts. To align with this goal, we promoted copy and creative that discussed the recovery benefits to massage therapy to coincide with the fact that most people make New Year’s resolutions to “get fit” or “stay healthy.” We also partnered with local fitness influencers to help spread the message, then we shared and boosted their content to the client’s Facebook pages to further promote this message.

 

HOW TO SELECT CONTENT TO PROMOTE

Sometimes, selecting content to promote can be overwhelming, especially with a client who has a lot going on or provides a wide range of offerings. By focusing on what is truly important on a case-by-case basis, PR pros can break down what types of information are going to be most relevant to the users your clients are trying to reach.

 

Partnership goals.

When promoting content, think back to the primary goals of the PR partnership. Does your client want to gain more followers? Do they want to open a dialogue with their customers? Are they trying to increase foot traffic at a certain location? All of these goals will play into the types of content you’re promoting and the way you’re promoting them.

 

Facebook allows businesses to promote based on a number of potential results, including: getting more leads, promoting your page, getting website visits, promoting your business locally, getting more website purchases, and receiving more messages.

 

Organic performance.

One of the easiest ways to select content to promote is by reviewing your recent top performing content. If a post is performing well organically on your page, throwing some ad dollars behind it and boosting it to a targeted audience is a great idea. It’s pretty common for people to pay more attention to posts that already have garnered engagement, rather than clicking on or reading a post that has no likes or comments.

 

Timely content.

Another great way to select promoted content is by sharing information that would be relevant to your followers.

 

For example, February is American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day takes place on Feb. 14. For our client Massage Heights, we homed in on the heart health benefits stemming from regular massage therapy and including last-minute gift ideas available for purchase.

 

Adversely, for our client Merchants Capital, we regularly promote recent loan closings for affordable housing developments to promote the work of the team and encourage borrowers to contact them for assistance on their next project. These types of posts not only position you as an expert in your field, but they promote your brand in an efficient and relatable way.

 

Want your business to reach new audiences through social media advertising? Learn more about Dittoe PR’s social media services and connect with Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com to set up a consultation!

Shifting Skillset for PR Pros: Social Media

The public relations industry has long been built on two core skills: writing flawless content and garnering influential media coverage on behalf of a client. If you embodied both skills, and could execute them well, you were bound to be a successful PR pro.

 

But, what about today? With the evolving skillset of PR professionals, it’s more important than ever to be armed with multiple proficiencies to develop and manage successful campaigns. In addition to the core competencies of a traditional PR professional, the following social media skills are key for any PR professional looking to grow within the industry.

 

Reporting social analytics.

Sure, writing a captivating Facebook post is great, but it doesn’t carry a lot of weight if  you can’t show its audience reach. Tracking analytics allows us to identify what’s working and what could use some changes. If an Instagram post gets 30 more likes than usual, we need to ask ourselves why, review and analyze the metrics, and carry key facets of that post into future social media content. Whether it’s through paid or free reporting services, professionals should be tracking impressions, engagements, reach and more to better understand social performance.

 

Social advertising.

Public relations often intersects with advertising, traditional and social. It’s common to facilitate or provide recommendations for advertising requests. According to the latest CMO survey, social media advertising budgets are predicted to increase by 32 percent in 2018 and almost double by 2023. Understanding basic terminology and vocabulary is easy with simple resources searches online, but to truly become well-versed in the space, you may consider taking an academic course on social advertising.

 

Basic graphic design.

Crafting social media messages is imperative, but so is creating the right image to go along with it! Graphics are a great asset to use text, photos and elements that can make your social post stand out. Although the most seasoned graphic designers use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, it’s not necessary for all public relations professionals. Canva, a free website with a “drag-and-drop” format, is an easy tool for beginners. Let your social images stand out, not blend in.

 

As the public relations industry continues to evolve, its professionals should too. Take time to gain a basic understanding of traditional and new-age PR tactics, and you (and your clients) will be in good hands.

 

Think your business could benefit from social media and reporting metrics? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com, or request a consultation today.