PR vs. Journalism, Advertising, & Marketing…

Many people have a misperception of public relations and they get it mixed in with journalism, marketing, and advertising. Public relations have other duties and there are differences. I will discuss the main differences between public relations and journalism, advertising, and marketing that I found in the Think Public Relations book by Dennis Wilcox, G. Cameron, B. Reber, etc.

First let’s discuss the differences between public relations and journalism.  Public relations require strategic thinking, problem-solving capability, and other management skills which journalism does not require. Journalists gather and select certain information for the public which is what public relations people do, but they have a different objective.  Public relations people not only inform people of information but they also change their attitude and behavior. Public relations tires to get it on a more personal level. Also, journalism uses one channel to speak to the public, but public relations use a variety of channels to communicate.  They use special events, speeches, brochures, news releases, etc.

Second is the difference between public relations and advertising.  The main difference is that advertising has a primary function to sell goods and services to the public and public relations major function is to create a milieu in which an organization can thrive.  Another difference is that public relations uses a number of communication tools like speeches, news releases, special events, etc. and advertising works exclusively through mass media outlets.

The last difference to discuss is the difference between public relations and marketing.  Marketing is more concerned with customers and selling the products and services.  Public relations is concerned with building relationships and generating goodwill for the organization.  Public relations is more on a personal level than marketing is.  Also, marketing speaks of target markets, consumers, and customers when public relations talk of publics, audiences, and stakeholders.

Overall, public relations is more involved/on a deeper level with the public than journalism, advertising, and marketing are.


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