Public Relations vs. Marketing: Which is More Important?

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It’s something businesses struggle with constantly: do they focus on marketing or public relations? Is it more important to get the word out about the company, or is it better to try and talk to people directly?

In a perfect world, you’d be able to spend the same amount of energy on both marketing and public relations. However, sometimes that just isn’t the case, and you have to choose. So which is better? Let’s take a look at both.

Public Relations

I’ll start with public relations and start with the disclaimer that I’m slightly biased in this regard. I think when asked to choose, public relations will win every time. This is especially true if you are tight on cash but still need to get the word out about your company.

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Public relations is all about going to where the people are and finding out what they want. In today’s world, that involves going online, and most places where folks frequent are totally free. This includes Facebook, Twitter, or even Skyping with clients. If you’re a new business on a tight budget, this can be a great and super cheap way of finding your audience.

Even better, public relations gives you the chance to really dig deep down and find out what your customers want. As you find this out, you can amend the rest of your company to better sell to them. Plus, people really love companies that listen to them. Everyone wants to be heard. Give them that satisfaction by employing some public relations and you may be surprised at the results.


With all that said, there’s something about a well thought out marketing campaign. The Old Spice commercials are a great example. They’re really effective because they’re silly, fun, and make Old Spice seem like a young man’s thing again.

On top of that, it seems like every other product in the world is marketed by the same “silly” style of commercial. Dairy Queen is the main one I’ve noticed, but others have followed in the same goofy footsteps. Heck, a friend worked on a campaign where the client wanted the team to USE the “Old Spice man.” Needless to say, they weren’t too aware of copyright infringement.

Marketing doesn’t have to be super expensive, either. A little can go a long way, especially if you work on branding yourself. Again like Old Spice, they knew everyone thought they were just for “their old man.” With their new marketing campaign, they’ve successfully turned that around to where young folks have started buying it again.

And that’s the best kind of marketing campaign: one that changes customer’s minds, when they were so sure before.

Which do you think is more important: marketing or public relations?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here:

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