Public relations (PR) are the promotions, projected to create goodwill for a person or an organization. A PR officer communicates directly with the audience or indirectly via media. It helps to build a strong relationship with the audience. An organization can achieve its set objectives effectively and smoothly by proper investigation on public relations. Effective public relations can build up and maintain the good image of an organization or a nation or an individual (Grunig & Grunig, 2010). When an organization is in crisis or unfavourable publicity, effective Public relations is helpful in removing the unpleasant misunderstanding and can build mutual understanding between the organisation and the public. On another hand, marketing is a management process by which goods and services are moved to the customers. Marketing involves basic 4Ps- Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. There are other 3 Ps- People, Process and Physical evidence also. Marketing is based on the business in terms of satisfying customer needs (Phadermrod, Crowder, & Wills, 2016).
The word Public Relation was first used by Thomas Jefferson in 1807 in the place of "State of thought" when he was writing his seventh address to the US Congress (Daymon & Holloway, 2010). The earlier definition of PR was about press agentry and publicity. But, the modern definition of PR is about concept of engagement and building of a relationship (Dibb, 2016). According to PRSA National Assembly, Public relations help an organization and its publics in adapting mutually relationship with each other. In the 20th century, PRSA modernized the definition with international effort (Phadermrod, Crowder, & Wills, 2016). They stated that PR is a strategic communication process. It helps to build a mutual relationship between organizations and their public. Here, the public is stakeholders, customers, buyers, etc. (Bernays, 2015). There are many different definitions of Public relations. Public relation is the planned and sustained effort to build up and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its publics (Institute of Public relations, USA) (Dibb, 2016). According to Bernays (2015), public relation is the attempt by information persuasion. Grunig & Grunig (2010) believed that public relation is a combination of economics, sociology, psychology, philosophy, language, journalism, and communication into a human understanding system. Basically, Public relations is the art of managing the incoming information about an individual or company that is circulated to the public employees, investors, neighbours, special-interest groups, governments, among others (Daymon & Holloway, 2010). It helps in delivering information with an effective attempt to frame that information. In the recent era, every individual or organization is working in the public eye (Michaelson, Wright, & Stacks, 2012). The enterprises face the spread of information about them or their practices to the public. The main objective of Public Relations is to portray oneself in a good way to the public. PR is often described as "spin," with the aim to present the individual, organization or the brand of the company in the best light possible (Bernays, 2015).
There are many controversies about the relationship between PR and marketing. Some people suggest that PR is part and parcel of marketing (Bernays, 2015) but, others said that marketing is rather a part of PR (Reed, 2016). Marketing is a process or system of developing products or services and communicating their benefits to the customers to attract them to purchase these services or product (Dencic-Mihajlov, 2013). The word marketing means to take the right good and service to the right people at the right time and right place. Moreover, the right price with the right promotion and communication are other important aspects of marketing. Marketing is the performance of some business activities which are involved in the flow of innovative ideas, goods, and services from their point of production to consumption (Prindle, 2011). As per Mikáčová & Gavlaková (2014), public relation is a component of an organization’s marketing plan. It emphasizes the promotion of goodwill of any organization with the public and support of the organizational image (Michaelson, Wright, & Stacks, 2012). During the first half of the twentieth century, both marketing and Public relations went through some dramatic growth and evolution. Marketing and PR both experienced surprising growth spurts. After that, these two factors gained increasing influence in the business world and planned new strategies (Phadermrod, Crowder, & Wills, 2016). Marketing and Public relations both are a major external function of an organization with having common ground regarding product publicity and consumer relations. Moreover, both of these two marketing elements operate on different stages from different perspectives and perceptions (Michaelson, Wright, & Stacks, 2012).
According to (Prindle, (2011), both business fundamentals communicates with the same publics and use same techniques sometimes. Every organization develops marketing plans and reviews them annually. These marketing plans include the formulation of the organization’s marketing mix, research and development, communication plans, advertising, Public relations, personal selling and other forms of promotion used by the organization (Daymon & Holloway, 2010). The importance of building and maintaining a brand image of an organization are the mutual trait of public relations and the broader umbrella of marketing. A market research is done to design and develop products that satisfy the target customers’ needs (Dibb, 2016). Prindle, (2011) has stated that a proper way of communication is used to communicate the benefits to the customers. The examples of public relations are press releases, unpaid marketing for media exposure, feature stories to promote a company image, etc. In terms of communication, PR and marketing work together for communicating and executing their respective strategies to the proper audience. Consistency is important for success (Dencic-Mihajlov, 2013). Public Relations and marketing both projects have same information regarding advertisements, and branding to avoid brand confusion. Whether it is a traditional advertisement or social media marketing, the public relation and marketing initiatives unite to develop content and graphic designs to boost up sales (Michaelson, Wright, & Stacks, 2012). Therefore, Public Relations and marketing both have a nature to provide counselling to organizational people in order to have a positive image and effective outreach to customers.
An organization’s public can be divided into two primary groups - Organizational and Societal. Organizational group means internal audiences including employees, management and shareholders. On another hand, societal groups are consisting of external audiences like the media, the customers, the government and the community at large (Bernays, 2015). Phadermrod, Crowder, & Wills (2016) have mentioned that there are two vital organizational functions and two primary societal functions. These organizational functions are - Employee relations and Investor relations and these two primary societal functions are - Media relations and Consumer relations.
Dibb (2016) has explained that many organizations dedicate creativity and financial resources to communicate with external audiences. But, these organizations use to forget about the most immediate audience - the employees. Here, mergers and acquisitions play important roles. M & A help to build the relation between unequal corporate cultures and workforces with growing geographic and social diversity (Mikáčová & Gavlaková, 2014). Many organizations use conventional print publications such as internal magazines and newsletters to promote employee relations. Now, it has changed as electronic communications- e-mail and the internet (Reed, 2016). As a result, effective Public relations are very much important to achieve the set goals of an organization.
The organizational function includes investor relations. The investors are the shareholders of that organization. Basically, Investor relation is a department (Grunig & Grunig, 2010). It can be observed in most medium-to-large public companies that provide authority to investors or the shareholders to access the organization affairs. It helps all investors to take buy or sell decision (Prindle, 2011). An IR department acts as a bridge to provide market acumen to internal corporate management.
Media relations are considered as the backbone of Public relations practice (Mikáčová & Gavlaková, 2014). It is a powerful tool which influences and changes the behaviour of the individuals and audience. It provides a third-party endorsement for a product or service or organization (Grunig & Grunig, 2010). Michaelson, Wright, & Stacks (2012) have divided the media relations into three categories- Reactive, Proactive, and Interactive in his literature. Reactive is responding to media inquiries. Proactive manner means to pitch story concepts to the media. The interactive function is consulting with the media for determining topics and builds up oneself as a reliable source of future story opportunities (Dencic-Mihajlov, 2013).
An organization communicates and interacts with the public to gain and keep customers through consumer relations. Every organization needs to cultivate good consumer relations to attract and maintain a loyal base of customers who will help the organization to get success (Daymon & Holloway, 2010). Consumer relations are a mixture of many communication programs and interpersonal contacts that are designed to strengthen and broaden consumer awareness, loyalty, and satisfaction. It helps to keep current customers, capture new customers, promote new products/services, resolve grievances, and to reduce costs through better-informed customers (Dibb, 2016). Consumer motivation can be understood by consumer relations. Therefore, it is difficult for an organization to know their customer demands without examining consumer relations.
The above discussion draws the conclusion that both marketing and PR are two different tools required for the growth of any business irrespective of any era. PR is used for relatively narrow purposes of business but, marketing a huge concept where PR plays a very important role. Therefore, each enterprise has to work smartly on these two components of business strategy to create a greater sales funnel and give the business an enormous boost.
Bernays, E. (2015). Crystallizing Public Opinion. Newburyport: Open Road Media.
Daymon, C., & Holloway, I. (2010). Qualitative Research Methods in Public Relations and Marketing Communications. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge.
Dencic-Mihajlov, K. (2013). Marketing of initial public offering. Marketing Management, 44(2), 137-148.
Dibb, S. (2016). Marketing (1st ed.). Andover, Hampshire: Cengage Learning.
Grunig, J. E., & Grunig, L. A. (2010, December 09). The relationship between public relations and marketing in excellent organizations: evidence from the IABC study. Journal of Marketing Communications, 4(3), 141-162. doi:10.1080/135272698345816
Michaelson, D., Wright, D. K., & Stacks, D. W. (2012). Evaluating Efficacy in Public Relations/Corporate Communication Programming: Towards Establishing Standards of Campaign Performance. Public Relations Journal, 6(5), 26-52.
Mikáčová, L., & Gavlaková, P. (2014, January 24). The Role of Public Relations in Branding. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 110(2), 832-840. doi:doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.12.928
Phadermrod, B., Crowder, R., & Wills, G. (2016). Importance-Performance Analysis based SWOT analysis. International Journal of Information Management, 3(1), 226-236.
Prindle, R. (2011, October). A Public Relations Role in Brand Messaging. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(18), 32-38.
Reed, D. (2016). Customer first is the only way to resolve the marketing mix. Journal of Direct Data Digit Mark Pract, 17(3), 155-162.