Have you ever made the mistake of not knowing whether you should use marketing or PR to promote your business?

Marketing and PR are often mistaken for each other. But knowing the difference is crucial.

Marketing is all about driving sales. But if you want to boost exposure, build expertise and show the value that your business brings to your community, then you probably need PR.

The good news is that your business has lots of stories people want to read about. So, the first thing you need to do is assess what you want to achieve. Then, take a look at our list of dos and don’ts to determine whether you need marketing or PR (or both!).

Do think about what you want to achieve.

Be clear about your campaign goal. For instance, are you trying to sell a course or a new product? Or are you trying to tell your story and boost exposure for your business? If it’s the former, we recommend marketing because you’re trying to sell something in the short term. If it’s the latter, then focus on public relations to help raise your business’ profile in the long run.

Do think about the platform.

Do you want your business to be seen in a magazine or perhaps a newspaper? In this case, we’d opt for PR. However, if you want your product to be sold through social media, website or email, go for marketing. Keep in mind you’re probably going to need a budget to support the latter.

Do think about the story you’re telling.

Be honest with yourself. Do you have a story with an angle that could interest a journalist, magazine or newspaper? Or are you simply trying to sell? If you’ve got a great story, somebody’s going to want to tell it, and public relations is very useful for that. However, if you’re trying to sell a service or product, you may need to use marketing channels instead.

Don’t stress too much about your budget.

If you have an excellent idea that’s likely to make a great story, you could actually get some free PR. If you need some ideas, start by researching your competitors or other companies in the same sector. Have they had any successful PR or viral content lately? Use this as inspiration to build your own cost-effective and impactful campaigns.

Don’t be unrealistic.

PR is unlikely to reap immediate results. So, if it’s short-term goals you’re after, pick some marketing strategies instead. These include creating a great website and lead generator as well as effective digital marketing.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Marketing is important – but so is public relations. It’s great to have a little bit of everything in your campaign, assuming you’ve got the resources to support you. Our 15-year experience in the industry has shown that businesses are more likely to achieve results when they invest in both.

We hope these tips help you determine whether you need to use marketing, public relations or both. If you have any questions, post them in the comments below!

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