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What Are You Selling - A Service or a Story?

Three Things to Consider with Marketing and Public Relations




In the dynamic realm of business communication, two crucial domains often find themselves intertwined yet distinct – marketing and public relations (PR). While both contribute to an organization's success, understanding their differences is paramount for strategic decision-making. In this blog post, Threshold Marketing & Communications delves into three key distinctions that set marketing and public relations apart.

  • Objectives and Focus:

  • Marketing: At its core, marketing revolves around promoting products or services with the primary goal of driving sales. The focus is on creating awareness, generating leads, and ultimately converting leads into customers. The metrics for success in marketing are often tied to revenue and market share.

  • Public Relations: PR, on the other hand, is more about building and maintaining a positive reputation for the organization. It aims to foster positive relationships with various stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, and the broader community. PR focuses on enhancing brand image, managing crises, and establishing credibility.

  • Audience Engagement:

  • Marketing: The marketing approach is consumer-centric. It involves tailoring messages and campaigns to appeal directly to the target audience's needs, preferences, and pain points. Marketing strategies often employ advertising, social media, and content creation to engage and persuade potential customers.

  • Public Relations: PR, in contrast, has a broader audience that includes not only customers but also the media, investors, employees, and the community at large. The emphasis is on building relationships and trust with these diverse stakeholders. PR efforts often involve media relations, event planning, and crisis management to ensure a positive public perception.

  • Time Horizon and Tactics:

    • Marketing: Marketing strategies are typically more short-term and focused on immediate results. Campaigns may be tied to specific product launches, promotions, or seasonal events. Tactics such as discounts, advertising blitzes, and influencer partnerships are common in marketing to create a sense of urgency and drive immediate action.

    • Public Relations: PR takes a longer-term view, aiming for sustained positive relationships and reputation building. The impact of PR efforts may not be immediately apparent but can be crucial for long-term success. Tactics include media placements, thought leadership, community engagement, and crisis communication planning.


Marketing and public relations are complementary yet distinct disciplines within the broader spectrum of business communication. While marketing drives sales and focuses on immediate results, public relations cultivates relationships and shapes the overall perception of an organization in the long run.


Both are essential for a holistic communication strategy and understanding their differences can empower businesses to navigate the complex landscape of modern communication effectively. Need help navigating the world of marketing and public relations? Contact Threshold to learn how we can help.

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