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!

Five Skills to Take PR Pros to the Next Level

There’s no doubt about it – PR is no longer just press releases. While media relations and communication skills cannot be understated, exceptional public relations pros will know how to utilize non-traditional skills to stand out and make an impact for their clients.

 

The way we communicate is constantly changing, which means PR professionals need to adapt quickly and creatively to share their message. If you want to get ahead and pick up a few tips and tricks to add to your toolbox, here are a few great places to start.

 

Invest in some design skills.

Being able to make an eye-catching infographic to wow your client no longer requires years of design school. Graphic design and public relations are often thought of as two separate disciplines, but a good campaign is strategic and cohesive. Being able to create a great design, whether it is for an infographic or a poster, can increase your impact. You can check out some video tutorials online (thanks, YouTube!) or even use free design software such as Canva.

 

Video is the future.

It’s hard not to notice video’s rapid rise in media. If this tactic isn’t part of your efforts this year, you are potentially missing out reaching a huge audience. 147 million Americans watch video on the internet, and that number continues to rise. To reach this audience, check out Instagram stories or IGTV, or plan a Facebook Live. For example, Dittoe PR used IGTV recently when sharing our favorite moments of 2018, and that video received more than 250 views. There are so many ways to engage with video – try some out!

 

Hone your photographic eye.

Whether you are taking photos at an event to send in a pinch or snapping a shot for social media, knowing how to take an eye-catching photo can give you a step up. Want to try it out? Try using different angles, light, and dimensions when taking photos. Practice your skills (even just on your iPhone!) and snap away.

 

Stay social media savvy.

Understanding two-way communication with your audience on social media platforms is key in today’s social media driven world. Social media is not only for sharing, it is also great for engaging and interacting with your followers. Create a social media plan, post consistently, and interact with your followers to build your community. And don’t forget to test out those new photos, videos and graphics you created!

 

Keep up to date.

In a rapidly changing industry, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends and tactics. Some easy ways to stay up-to-date include following PR blogs on Twitter, setting Google alerts and being involved in your local PRSA chapter. We also post more trends and tips on our blog.

 

At Dittoe PR, we are proud to provide results-focused campaigns and custom strategies for our clients. Interested in learning more? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com to set up a consultation for your company today!

 

By: Keeley Miller (Dittoe PR intern)