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June 10, 2020
By: Michael Iwasaki, 24-7 Press Release Newswire
Over the past couple of months, we have had a few inquiries about the difference between pr, public relations, marketing, and communications. We have briefly touched on this subject in the past, with our last article a few years ago, so we thought now might be a good time to revisit and update the information, especially given the new world which we are now all living.
To begin with, PR and public relations are the same things. PR simply stands for 'public relations.' What do public relations mean? Public relations is a strategic communication procedure that builds relationships between the company and the public. Building these relationships may also be summarized as 'the managing of communications between the company and the public. The definition from Wikipedia explains PR as practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public. The definition would further include the communication piece between the company and the audience and how messages are disseminated for the public to access.
Marketing is the artistic side of how communications make their way to the public. These communications might include the creation of brochures, advertising, landing pages, the creation of advertisements, newsletters, and more.
Communications company’s focus on the messaging and writing of materials. For instance, if you require assistance with writing a press release or the content of a newsletter, you could look toward a communications company to assist with this.
Some larger businesses will have in-house PR, communications, and marketing; however, many companies will farm this aspect of the business out to a firm that specializes in this kind of work. For instance, the writing of a press release, for example, can be a bit of an art. It is not just the writing of a press release, however laying the groundwork for a series of press releases that should be going out at timed intervals to tell a story and keep journalists, researchers, and bloggers abreast of your business.
Depending on the company, some businesses will specialize in only the marketing component. Others may include the PR & communications pieces. The PR & communications side would work more with the writing of press releases to distribute to the media or potential content for a newsletter. They would not include the art behind a new dinner menu or an advertisement for a magazine. The only way this would happen is if they are a significant enough company that has these two business functions in different departments of the same business.
Finally, you have the press release service and press distribution side of the business, like 24-7 Press Release Newswire. This type of company is the one that sends the press release to the media, bloggers, and alike. The press release distribution business, like a clipping service, is a separate business on its own.
When forming your PR strategy, relations with the media should be your primary focus. The reason for this is credibility amongst third parties, trust from potential customers combined with brand awareness. Working consistently with a strategy can reap long term benefits within the media. This type of approach will be different for every business.
When you first venture down this road of Public Relations and press releases, you need to be prepared for change. There is change around every corner, and you need to be able to move with the changes that come your way. How many companies do you think saw the COVID-19 crisis coming? How many of them do you think had to change up their message as soon as they saw the impact of it? Many businesses had to take a step back and regroup their thinking and strategies. The magnitude of what every company had to deal with is incomprehensible, with a change in mindset being a necessity.
Making connections with your customers, journalists, and the audience is what PR is all about. This exercise of making connections is not an overnight exercise; it is a journey. Slow and steady wins the race. Whether it is a journalist at a local paper or a national blogger, building relationships and trust with media can take time. If one thing the COVID-19 crisis has taught us, it is how to become more innovative and creative with communicating with our customers and potential prospects.
Persistence is key. For instance, after you send out your press release, check to see how many social engagements you had. What type of impact did this have? Sometimes it takes a few announcements for a journalist to notice your story. If a journalist does reach out to you for an interview, keep in mind that this is not a guarantee for publication – they are merely feeling the waters, but at least you piqued their interest! There are times where a journalist may be looking for an expert in their industry and want to build some trust. We have seen some stories where an interview commenced to find their story was published months later.
If you are the contact for the press release story, ensure that you are comfortable talking with the media and know what is appropriate or not appropriate to say or do. For instance, attempting to oversell your product or service would be viewed as inappropriate. You should be using this opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge in your industry and resist trying to use this as an advertisement. An interview with the media is a chance to show you are an expert in your area, one that they can reach out to and trust for questions that would further provide visibility down the road—indirectly providing visibility and potential sales.
Once your story makes it to a publication, make sure that you embrace this moment and share the information on social media. Doing so will help increase engagement. When you reach this stage, congratulations, you are now at the point of experiencing earned press; this is not an avenue that you can put a price on. When you spend very little sending a press release, and you can get this type of earned media is priceless.
For more information and tips on media placement, press release writing and more, check out our knowledge base here.