Marketing is a functional area of management and refers to everything that is undertaken by an organization to market products and services.
Marketing and public relations functions are often confused. However, the two functions have different main objectives. Public relations function focuses on establishing good long-term relationships between organization and all internal and external stakeholders. It focuses on establishing a proper image and enhancing the company’s reputation. Marketing, on the other hand, focuses on acquiring customers and keeping them content. Therefore, public relations focus on all internal and external stakeholders of an organization and marketing focuses exclusively on customers of an organization.
Marketing and public relations functions often work very closely, especially in large organizations. Close collaboration of the two functions results in synergy benefits. For example, if the goal of the marketing department is the introduction of the new product to the market, the public relations department can work collaboratively with the marketing department by taking steps to obtain publicity with the help of press conferences and news releases. This way, the public relations department can arrange for a product to be announced by the media in a way other than advertisement. Publicity is usually perceived by stakeholders as more credible than advertisements.
Marketing is a line function and public relations is a staff function. Line functions refer to functions that perform primary activities which are necessary to achieve an organization’s objectives and which directly contribute to the bottom line, such as marketing and operations. Staff functions are those functions that support functions that perform primary activities. Examples of staff functions are public relations and human resources.
Overall, marketing focuses on selling organization’s products and services to customers and public relations focuses on selling the company itself to all internal and external stakeholders.