The Relationship between Public Relations and Marketing essay

Nowadays, more and more organizations understand their direct dependence on the society and their need to build friendly relations with public. Transition to market economy has brought new challenges and demanded a new approach to business principles. For this reason, the problem of professional marketing taking into account the interaction with public came in the forefront for many organizations.

The direct connection of marketing and public relations lies in the fact that PR mechanism acts as an engine of the process of product promotion on the market, ensuring success of the company, its high reputation in the face of fierce competition.

Although the aim of the modern companies is to increase sales, this does not preclude the need to use PR tools to integrate the interests of consumers and their behavior.

There are two opposing views on the relationships between PR and marketing. Some believe that PR is a direct marketing piece that is used to increase sales. Another point of view considers PR as an independent discipline, which is not subject to marketing and is related not to sales growth but the formation of a positive image of the company. There is no consensus on this issue, but the relationship of PR and marketing is obvious.


PR is an activity aimed at forming positive opinion about the company and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with it (Crabtree, 2010: 10-11). The purpose of PR is to establish two-way communication to identify common ideas or common interests and mutual understanding based on truth, knowledge and full awareness. The magnitude of this interaction, aimed at developing strong relationships with the public, can be very different depending on the characteristics of the actors, but the philosophy, strategy and methods are very similar.

Marketing is the subject of market activities aimed at implementing interaction with other actors of the market (Brandau, 2014: 24).

It is the process of planning and implementation of the plans, evaluation of promotion and implementation of ideas, goods and services in order to benefit from the exchange between people and organizations. The major activities of marketing are processes such as product development, research, establishing communications, organization of distribution, pricing.

The Roles of PR and Marketing

Functions and tasks of Public Relations

The most basic and common functions of PR are:

1) Control of public opinion and behavior in order to meet their needs and interests.

2) Responding to the public. Organization takes into account events, problems and behavior of others and responds to them.

3) The achievement of mutually beneficial relations with all groups of people through the fruitful cooperation with them (including with employees, customers, suppliers, production staff, etc.).

There are internal and external functions of PR, which are realized according to the individual generic areas:

  • external function is aimed at creating and maintaining a positive image of the organization among the community groups that are external to the organization, at informing them about the organization and its products;
  • internal function is aimed at creating and maintaining corporate social responsibility within the organization (good reputation of the organization among its staff, formation of a benevolent climate within the organization, maintaining a sense of responsibility and interest in the result of work). In this regard, PR should be considered as a method of creating organizational culture.

PR can have a significant impact on public opinion and it is cost-effective compared to commercial advertising. Using PR, the company does not pay for advertising rates, it pays for the work of media personnel. However, specialists believe that the consumer is more likely to pay attention and trust interesting article than advertising clip. It is obvious that PR performs more complex functions than advertising and plays an important role in the following tasks:

  1. Assist in the introduction of new products and services;
  2. Changing attitude to goods and services;
  3. Development and revival of interest in partially or completely forgotten goods and services;
  4. Creating favorable image of the company addressing certain target groups;
  5. Creating good image of the company that would positively influence the image of products and services (Hawes, 2010: 8).

Functions and tasks of marketing in the modern organization

Marketing begins with a study of the target market segment. Marketing management is the analysis, planning, implementation and monitoring of activities designed to establish, strengthen and maintaining beneficial exchanges with target buyers in order to achieve certain objectives of the organization, such as profit, sales volume growth, increase of market share, and so on.

Marketers determine potential demand and its size (capacity segment of the market), ie identify customers whose needs are not met adequately or experiencing an implicit interest in specific goods or services. There should be done market segmentation and selection of those its parts that the company is able to serve well. Marketing management plans, creates and brings the product to the consumer, develops demand strategy through product price, distribution channels and methods of promotion. Marketing researches product, market, consumer demand, and offers possibilities – these studies is a function of marketing. Marketing function is the impact on the level, time and nature of demand in order to achieve the goals of the organization (Smith, 2014: 22).

Similarities and differences

Currently, relationship between marketing and PR and their similarities are growing. Increasingly, these two trends are intertwined in practice. However, even thirty years they were considered completely separate discipline.

In the process of rapid development of marketing and public relations, they are rapidly expanding their spheres of activity, using increasingly aggressive means of communication, actively expanding the audience, as a result, they begin to turn to the same segments of the public, and sometimes even use same tactics of communicative behavior. Despite the fact that from the point of view of consumers, these disciplines are very similar, the practice has always maintained a strong conceptual separation.

If you ask PR and marketing practitioners to highlight the basics of their professions, they would come around to the following scheme.


  1. Promotion of the goods (services) among consumers.
  2. The main goal is selling.
  3. The implicit goal is to make a profit.
  4. Success depends on the amount of sales and profits.


  1. Organization help in adapting public and company.
  2. The main objective is to establish rapport.
  3. The implicit objective is to stimulate a favorable perception.
  4. Success depends on the expression of positive public opinion, public support in any manifestation.

It turns out that marketing is a set of measures to promote a product or service, pricing, working with distributors, and PR is the management of the company’s reputation. Marketing creates a market for goods and services, PR provides a favorable environment in which companies operate. In some cases, marketing success can be destroyed by negative social or political trends, tracking and smoothing of which is also the task of PR.

In the context of convergence of price / quality ratio on most goods and services, a special role is played by image of the company. In this case, PR acts as a function, which enables the construction of a positive image (Wexler, 2010: 33).

PR tools

The basic tools of PR are:

– Publications (articles, reports, newsletters, magazines, brochures) are widely replicable means of promoting an attractive image of the company and transmitting messages to the target markets.

– Events (trade shows, seminars, conferences, competitions, presentations) can include both general public and target audiences.

– News. The main task of PR specialists is to provide interesting and favorable news about the company and its services.

The use of PR tools should facilitate the implementation of the planned business objectives:

– Raising awareness of the consumer.

– Strengthening confidence in the company and its services.

– Promotion of sales.

– Reduce of the cost of advertising and sales promotion.

The diversity and complexity of the goals emphasize the breadth of actions of PR technologies (Jacques, 2013: 12).

Marketing Tools

There are various marketing tools to ensure the success of the company and increase sales effectiveness. Marketing tools to achieve the company goal, selection and use of which is realized through the procedure of the marketing mix (Marketing- mix model 4P): product, price, promotion, delivery. The concept of marketing mix is determined by a set of basic tools of marketing: product policy (innovation, work with range, removal of goods whose life cycle is over from the production, customer service, guarantees);

  • pricing (base price, discounts, credit);
  • communication policy (advertising, public relations);
  • marketing policy (market research, sales, development of new markets, etc.);
  • development and implementation of competitive strategies.

The first marketing tool is an estimate, according to which the firm’s resources are allocated to business units. Other marketing tools are:

  • advertising (the most effective way to deliver information about the goods to the consumer for the purpose of sales promotion);
  • public relations (marketing tool, contributing to the establishment and maintenance of interaction, location, understanding and cooperation between the company and society, the formation of a benevolent public opinion);
  • personal selling (but this tool is very expensive as it is related to the preparation of highly qualified specialists in sales).

pricing policy is considered the most important marketing tool. This is usually the final stage of market activity, and the price is a kind of indicator of conditions in which the company exists and operates (Rockoff, 2012:14).

Examples of application of PR

The following examples are quite diverse. However, each of them illustrates effectiveness of PR.

Ford achieved fame of the model Ford Taurus with the help of PR even before the release of the car on the market. When the company «Lego System» learned that one of their rattles was potentially dangerous for babies, they immediately withdrew the entire batch of rattles and inspired parents to the dissemination of this information. The company offered full compensation of the toys price or its exchange for a toy from the new collection.

An example of Ford Motor Company is a clear illustration of the application of public relations in the early stages of marketing use, when news appeared before advertising. The case of «Lego System» emphasizes the use of PR methods for gaining trust of consumers.

In addition to these examples, there are many other methods that can improve the effectiveness of marketing programs. With the help of PR, a company can turn into a leader in its market segment, present new products. PR allows carry out a restart and positioning of existing products, overcome the resistance of consumers to advertising, affect those people who shape consumer opinion, win the support of retailers and contribute to a more rapid spread of products. These examples suggest that PR and marketing can perfectly communicate, that PR marketing really works. That is why in recent years, many companies began to use public relations (Erokan, 2010: 12-13).

Examples of successful marketing

Marlboro. Marlboro invented pack of cardboard with flip-top lid, which are now standard package of cigarettes not in order to demonstrate innovation or design ideas but for promotional purposes. Smokers were able to pull out cigarettes from soft packs without removing them from the pocket, so others did not see the brand. Flip-tops made smokers take the pack out of the pocket so that everybody could see it, and the new always attracts attention.

Estee Lauder. There is a beautiful legend about how Estee Lauder began selling its perfumes. The young Miss Lauder came the biggest perfume shop in New York “accidentally” split the bottle of her perfume on the floor. Buyers asked about the wonderful smell and store just had to sign a contract with Estee Lauder.

Heinz. In 1896, Henry Heinz was walking around New York and saw an advertisement of shoe store, which offered clients “21 style of shoes.” By analogy, he decided to write on their ketchup and sauces “57 options”. This number had nothing to do with the actual figures range, but Heinz liked it. And it impressed buyers.

Harley-Davidson. The most famous manufacturer of motorcycles in the world holds the first place in terms of “branded” tattoos for more than a dozen years. It all began with the fact that Harley announced impressive discounts on bikes for those who would come to buy a motorcycle with a tattoo in the form of its logo (Castilla, 2013: 250-251).


Similarities of PR and marketing get more and more noticeable. More and more often, in practice, they are intertwined and mutually reinforcing. This was possible because the purposes of marketing and PR are similar: the desire for mutual understanding between the company and customer, care about the quality of products, reputation and image of the brand.

Nevertheless, they have different strategies. Thus, marketing strategy is a desire to attract the customer to a particular product, and strategy of PR is to create the most favorable environment for the development of the company.

Marketing studies people’s interest in products and services, analyses possibilities to influence target groups and effectiveness of advertising. With the help of PR-activity, the company monitors the interests of consumers, partners, employees, shareholders, identifies threats, helps management to resolve various conflicts and quickly establish a dialogue. In general, PR is focused on public opinion, while the purpose of marketing is selling. Thanks to marketing, the company can get answers to the questions: what, when and to whom to sell, at what price and in what form. Creating motivation, sales promotion are also the mission of marketing professionals.

In turn, PR provides answers to questions such as: how to be a company, how to make it work needed and fruitful? Building relationships between the company and community – that is the mission of public relations.

In the context of the existing fast-growing market, PR is becoming an important part of marketing communications. Public Relations today is an effective mechanism for overcoming problems on the way of the goods to the buyer. Using public relations influences the performance of marketing as a whole.

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