The difference between PR and marketing

PR and marketing: you hear them in the same sentence so often, it’s easy to think of them as one and the same thing. And you’d be surprised how many people do confuse the two or aren’t really sure what comes under each umbrella.

In reality, they are significantly different and require very specific skills, strategies and approaches to get them right and achieve results for your business.

PR covers a multitude of channels these days. Everything from traditional print and broadcast to bloggers, vloggers and social media influencers. But in a nutshell (a pretty big one I grant you) let’s look at the basic difference between the two.

Here’s a good place to start: in a recent Neilson Consumer Trust Survey, 90% of consumers said that they trust peer recommendations compared to a staggering 14% who said they trust advertisements. Why is that?

Well, we’re very savvy consumers nowadays and we understand when we’re being sold to. When you see an advert, you know that the company has paid for that blank space and, therefore, can pretty much say what they like; how great they are, how much their products will change your life, how much money they can make/save you. And we take it with a pretty hefty pinch of salt. Because we understand that it’s marketing.

Here’s where PR comes in. That ‘peer recommendation’ that we seem to trust so much – it can be built up in the form of expert advice, third party endorsements and positive storytelling about you and your brand.

A journalist can smell a sales message from 100 paces (at least!) and trying to get one past them and into print, onto a news site or into any type of broadcast media is a futile exercise. They’re not there to sell for you. What they will do, is talk about interesting, valuable or entertaining content that’s of genuine interest to their audiences.

As consumers, be it looking for a franchise or any product or service, we’ve learnt to recognise advertising and sales message too. So, when we see, hear or read a story about a brand that’s been through a ‘gatekeeper’ like a journalist, an editor or a producer, we accept and trust the information more readily. It’s not always easy and it’s never guaranteed – because you’re not paying for the ‘blank space’, you’re pitching for it on merit – but it’s definitely worth it.

Now, one thing I must stress is you have to invest in marketing activities. You absolutely have to wave your flag, ring your bell and make some noise to get the wonderful, unique, exciting features and benefits of your product or service out there.

But you really should have other people doing it for you as well. Trusted, neutral third parties who have nothing to gain from telling your story other than the continued engagement of their own audiences. That’s the type of message we trust. That’s great PR.

PR and marketing both have very important roles to play in your business – whether for franchise recruitment or consumer purposes. And neither one will be as effective as both combined. Think of them as bed-fellows; sisters, not twins. You get the idea.

Most of you will have marketing activities running for your business but how can you make the most of them by combining them with PR activities too? Follow us on Twitter to keep an eye out for our regular expert advice blogs.

Could you be the next to join #TeamRev?

Salary: £21,000 per annum

Full Time/Permanent

Location: Bloxham (Banbury is the nearest town)

 Job description:

Publicist/PR Account Executive role suitable for graduate with work experience.

Rev PR specialises in the franchise sector delivering franchise recruitment, B2B and consumer PR results for both global brands and SME clients. Don’t know much about franchising? Don’t worry, we do, and our thorough induction and training process will start you off on the right track.

As a true PR professional, you will have excellent interpersonal and copywriting skills, and will be a confident communicator and presenter at all levels. With a PR-related degree and at least one year of PR experience, you will not be afraid to pick up the phone to pitch to the media.

You will be actively involved in everything from copywriting, interviews, media liaison, social media, reports, research and much more. Ultimately, your role is to generate publicity results on local, regional and national levels. You must have the ability to stay organised and multi-task to accomplish each client’s unique publicity goals.

Applicants must be able to evidence during the recruitment process:

  • confidence to pick up the phone and build relationships with new business contacts
  • excellent writing skills and a flair for creative writing
  • solid grasp of spelling and grammar
  • common sense in a business environment
  • ability to pick up set processes quickly.

The job is mainly office-based – currently at Bloxham Mill, near Banbury in Oxfordshire. Working hours are typically 9-5.30, Monday to Friday but the occasional weekend of work is expected for key events.


We also have placement opportunities and graduate internships from 12-40 weeks for those from degrees in public relations, english or media-related subjects if you wish to pursue a career in PR. Payment is discussed on an individual basis.

How to find out more:

Browse our website to find out more about our agency and email us with an overview of your experience: