As strange as it mind sound they really are. Marketing Community and PR if not exactly identical are departments with a common goal working towards a common objective. These segments are overlapping in many segments. Yet these are fields which are often at loggerheads with each other. And at best can be seen sharing a love-hate relationship.
In order to understand the similarities between the two it is important to understand exactly what are PR and Marketing. Board of Directors of the American Marketing Association, AMA, describe Marketing as the set of institutions, activities, systems and processes for creating, delivering, interacting and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
On the other hand the PRSA, Public Relation Society of America define Marketing as “[Public relations] help the organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other. Public Relations broadly applies to organizations as a collective group, not just a business; and publics encompass the variety of different stakeholders.”.
So we can see both PR and Marketing work towards bringing the brand and their consumers or organizations and their clientele close to each other. This is where PR and Marketing are similar at their core. There are some outward differences between the two groups.
These superficial differences include
Marketing as a department directly supports sales. PR as a department supports Sales but with it Marketing and a host of other aspects.
Marketing is more product-oriented while PR tends to be more brand oriented including of course the product or the service, which is arguably at the core of the brand.
The four Ps of marketing are Product, Price, Promotion and place. From the necessary R&D to the market positioning, identifying and regulating the distribution channels to advertising and marketing devices like special offers and discounts everything falls under the scope of marketing. PR busies itself more with communication, announcements, press meets, launches etc. PR tries to better the relationship between the stakeholders, the target group of consumers and the organization. In order for the market to expand, the opinion about a certain brand must be favourable, and this is what the PR department strives to achieve. So the scope of work for the two departments is different. One deals with the incident, such as the launch and distribution of a product, while the other deals with the attitude, which is the stakeholder and consumer’s perception of the organization.
However in this day and age of social media where most brands choose to advertise themselves and provide customer support via social media, the boundary lines between the two departments have grown very hazy indeed and very soon they might converge and disappear altogether.
In order for your organization to work best these two departments need to work hand in hand. They should be absolutely on the same page. The processes which will help them do this are simple . such as :
Regular Meetings: There should be regular cross-department meetings attended by both the departments. These meetings will ensure that each department knows about the projects, goals and objectives of the other.
Integrated Campaigns: The best campaigns are integrated campaigns, designed and launched with the help of both these groups. For instance, PR can conduct surveys and collect data from the market which will help them to launch media campaigns and this same data can be used by the marketing department, to launch product-based campaigns including content marketing like e-books, blog posts, email campaigns etc.
Evaluation: Performance of both these teams must be continuously evaluated. A successful marketing campaign may increase sales on its own, so can a successful PR campaign. However, the maximum number of sales can be generated if both the processes are aligned and coordinate. For this, it is necessary to review and evaluate the performance of both the teams. Then you will know what part has been played by them in conducting an integrated campaign that has led to an increase in sales.
Gatherings: Like any groups, PR and marketing also work the best together if people belonging to either team actually know and like each other. In order to try and felicitate some social mixing among them try arranging office lunches, outings, picnics and celebrations. This is sure to build some camaraderie and help both the departments working together smoothly.
Shared Knowledge: In order to both the teams work together towards a shared objective you need a shared knowledge base. CRM or Customer Relationship Management software can help you there. CRM assimilates the data from all the departments and provides centralized access. This facilitates not only PR and Marketing but other departments like customer support, sales as well. The best way to ensure that both the teams are on the same page is to give them access to the same knowledge base. If both the teams are working on the same data chances are high of their campaigns complimenting each other, even if they work on those individual campaigns separately.
So, to sum up we can say that PR and marketing are not identical but they are similar processes which work for the benefit of the organization.