PR or Marketing Agency: What’s the difference?

As trends change, companies try to merge PR and marketing departments into one.

The terms, public relations (PR) and marketing, are becoming “joint at the hip”. In a world consumed with digital media and trending technologies, engaging the audience is the best way to stay relevant.

So why are PR agencies and marketing firms merging?

Well, to get to that answer, let’s first analyze the similarities and differences between the two types of agencies.

PR is a way of communicating with the public, creating positive perceptions, and raising brand awareness. Its main objective is to manage a brand’s reputation. If there is bad press or a PR crisis, a good PR agency’s job is to counteract that bad publicity with something positive.

Marketing, on the other hand, is traditionally associated  with strategies to increase sales. While marketing attempts to achieve direct revenue, PR firms aim to drive a positive reputation through an effective PR strategy.

However, with the emergence of social media and content marketing, the lines between PR and marketing are converging. Web marketing has dramatically changed the way people market their business due mainly to customers having more access to information and changing technologies and platforms.

Many times, public relations becomes part of an overall marketing campaign, such as in the case of our agency, TriVision, which is an integrated marketing and media communications company based in Washington, DC.  The line that differentiates our work between marketing and public relations does become blurry because what we do has so many integrated elements.

Whether we’re in our production studio producing a TV advertisement to promote a product, or taking over an organization’s social media account to promote a media campaign, we essentially all have one end goal in mind: to raise brand awareness and create positive perceptions of a product and brand.

While there are many similarities between public relations and marketing, they usually work best when combined as part of a wider overall strategy.


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