The Objectives of Public Relations vs Advertising vs Marketing

Not everyone is an expert in creative communication. The process itself is a multi-layered spectrum that can be rather confusing and challenging to fully grasp.

Whether it is public relations, marketing or advertising, these are all vital components that can be somewhat similar yet very different.

Various terms are often used interchangeably, often to define work and efforts that all contribute to a sizable, shared goal.

In this post, let’s go over what the differences are between public relations, marketing, and advertising.

What is Public Relations (PR)?

Public Relations

Public relations can be defined as a communication process that is strategically used by organizations, individuals, and organizations to construct a good reputation and mutually beneficial relationships with the public.

Objectives of Public Relations

In brief, PR is used to protect, sustain and maintain the organization’s image and reputation, elevate its brand identity, and display a preferable impression.

Public Relations Activities

Some activities you can expect in PR are:

  • Press release
  • Reviews
  • Blog Post
  • Business and Community Campaigns
  • Sponsorships and Partnerships
  • Stunts

Strategies in Public Relations

Looking back at the definition provided, let’s go into detail about the uses of PR.

Public relations focuses on promoting the organization’s brand by editorial content presented on prints, news channels, websites, blogs, and broadcast.

Through this, organizations are able to build a reputation within their own industry, with the public, and credibility to their own name.

Public relations efforts involve studying, analyzing and interpreting public opinions and behavior towards the brand and churning out plans that mainly use free or earned media to influence them.

In order to receive coverage, press releases are written and distributed to get media attention.

Speeches are also drafted out for the organization’s spokesperson in any notable circumstances. Special public outreach and media relations events are also handled by public relations personnel.

Another important aspect of public relations is crisis management. More importantly, public relations deals with contingency and emergency plans to resolve any potential issues that might happen.

Additionally, an organization’s social media presence of the brand and commentary response is under the crucial scope of public relations.

The Importance of Public Relations

Public relations play a vital role in times of crisis as PR is able to minimize damage if something horrible were to happen.

A PR specialist is able to assist in deciphering false rumors, provide proper information and come up with good strategies to present the brand in a better light.

In today’s business world, publicity and quality are keys to becoming a leading brand of the market. Consumers need to be aware of the existence of your product, understanding its’ functionality and reliability in order to gain interest.

Public relations can help achieve that by efficiently having suitable campaigns and approaching the right media outlet. It helps keep your brand afloat and visible to the world.

These efforts will keep your organization on track, informing them of your activities and what is currently going on with your company.

Through this, you will find out about how your audience perceives your brand, improvements to make and what would be the best way to build a friendly relationship with them.

This covers public relations. Now let’s move on to marketing.

What is Marketing?


Marketing is the activities conducted by an organization to promote the purchasing or selling of a product or service.

Marketing involves advertising, market research, selling and delivering products to customers, clients or businesses.

Objectives of Marketing

To attain new consumers while cultivating and fostering good ties with them well into the near future

Marketing Activities:

  • Sales
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Merchandising
  • Distribution
  • Market Research

Marketing is the whole and overall process of presenting products or services to a broader audience, which involves advertising and public relations.

Strategies in Marketing

Marketing is based on the principle of the Four Ps – Product, Price, Place, and Production. The four Ps collectively make up the essential mix an organization requires to market their product or service.


“Product” is/are an item or items that the company is planning to sell to consumers. The product should aim to address an absence in the market or fulfill demands for the said product by consumers.

To prepare for an effective campaign, marketers must understand what they are selling, how it’s unique from its competition, whether it can be complemented with another product, or if there are any alternatives in the market.


“Price” is the selling value of the product. When deciding on a price, organizations must consider the following:

– Unit Cost Price
– Marketing Expenses
– Distribution Costs

Companies are encouraged to perform competitor research to identify whether the proposed price is an attractive alternative for consumers, and also to align your products with the perceived value of consumers.

This is because pricing a product too high and too low from it’s perceived value will not sell.

For instance, if someone were to offer a Rolex watch for RM 500, your immediate thoughts are that the product is fake, as the perceived value of a Rolex is one of a luxury item that costs at least RM20 000 (or 5 000 USD).


“Place” is how a product is shown and given to a customer. When considering a placement strategy, one should keep note of the nature of the product, as well as the type of distribution channels to use.

For instance, the majority of goods (food, clothes, cars, etc) can now be sold both offline and online.

However, Software as a Service (SaaS) products are now mostly sold through online channels, vs older generation SaaS which needed to be sold through physical means (think floppy discs and CDs).

Other aspects to consider, especially for offline placement, are consumer populations, traffic in the set location, and buyer personas/demographics.


Promotion refers to all activities under a marketing communication strategy. These activities include advertising, promotion sales, public relations, sponsorships, and guerrilla marketing.

Your promotion strategy may vary based on:

  • Product Price
  • Distribution Channels
  • Perceived Product Quality

It’s best to remember that promotion is only the communication aspect of the entire marketing function, which is a key aspect, but not the only aspect.

The Importance of Marketing

Marketing is a useful tool to engage with your consumers. Engaging involves informing your customers on necessary information about your product and brand.

It is a creative platform that allows you and your team to come up with fresh content and quality ideas to attract your target audience. With that, it gives consumers a sense of belonging and preference towards your brand.

This gives additional value and worth to your products or services.

Profit margins and productivity are heavily centered on marketing efforts. It uses multiple ways to promote your products and services.

Marketing increases your chances of selling products as customers may want to try your products and this can trigger purchase decisions.

When customers are glad and satisfied with your products and services, they become your brand advocate and spread the word of mouth, which increases productivity.

By marketing, every marketer and member of the organization will start to understand more insights and what sort of approach would attract their consumers best.

Marketing strategies can help you establish what sort of content and business messaging to convince the public. When different methods have been tested, you will create your own metric and foundation to reach the audience.

As your marketing strategies generate sales and more opportunities, you’ll begin to have better options, giving you the confidence and courage you need to penetrate into new grounds.

And with that, let’s move on to the last section, advertising.

What is Advertising?


Advertising refers to a marketing strategy involving paying for space to promote an organization’s products, service or cause. The actual term used in the promotional messages is known as advertisements (ads).

Objectives of Advertising

To attain new consumers while cultivating and fostering good ties with them well into the near future.

Advertising Activities:

  • Newsletters
  • Billboards
  • Online Videos
  • Bulletins
  • Social Postings
  • Print Advertisements
  • Radio Advertisements
  • Television Advertisements
  • Direct Mail
  • Banner and Website Advertisements
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising
  • Social Media Postings

Strategies in Advertising

Use advertising to persuade, apprise and inform consumers about your organization’s brand, product or services. An effective advertising strategy starts with identifying what needs and requirements your product is able to fulfill.

Advertisers must do their part in market research and collecting consumer data. They also would need to identify the goals and align their plans along with the overall marketing strategy.

Having a clear goal and target in mind would make the process much easier and quicker.

Next, the organization should conduct the right behavioral strategy in accordance with the market share and analytics, influencing their consumers and potential consumers.

In advertising, the organization would need to figure out what sort of media channels would suit best to their target audience.

They should be aware of what combination and mediums would bring productivity. More emphasis should be placed on key selling points of the products when advertised.

The Importance of Advertising

Advertising plays an important role in brand awareness. Customers are the people who will only purchase the product once they realize its presence and benefits in the market.

Advertising helps people find the best products for themselves and everyone around them, compare the products and buy what they perceive as worthy of the cost spent.

Moreover, advertising does not only promote your products but it represents the personality and traits of your brand.

It is a tool that spreads about impactful causes and educates issues that might need to be taken note of by your target audience.

For instance, your organization is selling an eco-friendly product that could contribute to lessening the effects of global warming. With advertising, the public will realize the importance of environmental conservation, and take your product into consideration.

Final Thoughts

Differences Between Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing

Public relations, advertising, and marketing are all core aspects that are very much required for the survival and progress of your organization.

Although all of it might seem a little complex and tedious, it is fairly easy if your organization is clear and well aware of what efforts to conduct in order for your business model to succeed.

Start by asking yourself what you would like to achieve. Or perhaps, how would you like your consumers to view your product or services.

Good planning and a systematic strategy would conveniently assist you to pick out the best approach. Not only that, data analytics and supported research would push you even further ahead.

In a world where technology is consistently advancing and quality information is shared, you have everything you could possibly need to accomplish your business agendas.