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When first meeting with clients, we are often asked how much will the editorial cost.

Our reply? “It’s just our time to develop the story and get it to the right media for you. We are in the content business – i.e. identifying and developing news worthy stories for our clients and targeting the right media to get them the right coverage.”

So how do we define each term?

Public relations refers to unpaid content developed and disseminated to the appropriate media by an internal stakeholder or a public relations consultant on an organisations behalf.

Marketing is all the product, price, placement and promotion of an organisation and its wares or services.

Now we know the difference, what are the 5 things that differentiate public relations from marketing?

1. Credibility

Someone else talking about you is always viewed as more credible than an organisation touting its own achievements. Michael Levine, a well-known PR

consultant and author of the book, Guerilla P.R. says: “Depending on how you

measure and monitor, an article it is between 10 times and 100 times more valuable

than an advertisement".

2. Cost

A good public relations campaign across traditional and social media can often be done at a significantly lower cost than a paid media / advertising plan.

3. Speed

A phone call or email between you and your PR consultant how your business offering or performance relates to current news can stimulate a press release

being developed and sent to the appropriate media quickly without the need for

a graphic designer, ad bookings and multiple signoffs over a longer time frame.

4. Control

With Marketing, the message is set inside the ad and you have total control over what message appears where. With public relations, messages can be interpreted by different media in a lot of ways so it is important to strategise and develop a plan with your PR team to avert any crises or distortion of your message.

5. Reach

A good story derived from a well-crafted press release placed strategically can, in this digital age, go global, which can really help companies reach new audiences they may not get exposure to due to the budgetary constraints of a paid marketing campaign.

We challenge you to take a look at your favourite print or digital media this month and examine how you react to marketing messages over well told editorial stories, then send us your comments - we’d love to discuss this some more.

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