Public relations as I have studied it is the, "Management function of two-way communication between an organization and its publics." What's the difference??? There are several actually.
- Marketing has PR as subordinate to the "Marketing manager" and is as my prof so eloquently stated, "basically the same thing as Publicity, or they're so close you can almost count them as one." In actuality, PR is more appropriately placed directly in communication to the CEO or President, and equal to the "marketing manager." The reason is because PR and Marketing bring different but equally important aspects of the company to the public. Only PR seeks to bring the input of the public, back to the company. Two-way communication. What could be more valuable than accurate external knowledge of your standing in the market? Also publicity is a tool, not an element of the promotion mix in itself.
- Marketing also focuses on paid advertising and promotion. But PR can prove more valuable, especially given these current economic times. PR seeks to place as little cost on the company/organization as possible and the fact that the attention it attracts comes from unpaid efforts adds credibility to the info being dispursed. DUH!
- Marketing's version of PR is limited to persuasion and while that is an important part of PR, it isn't the whole. PR also focuses a lot of energy into informing the public. This can be the most important part of PR, esecially for a company without a huge marketing budget. Without PR, journos would have nothing to write about or at least they would have to work harder to find stories. PR does the grunt work for journos and marketers, getting the message out ethically and timely.
- Public relations focuses on excellent writing, something that cannot be said for Marketing at all...
I really think PR gets a bad rap just because of a few practitioners who used their knowledge irresponsibly instead of ethically. PR is still growing, and I think it's up to students like myself and my classmates to tip the scales of public opinion in PR's favor by practicing responsibly, honestly, ethically and excellently. We've got nowhere to go but up!