Ever feel like some there is a lot of redundancy in this industry? If so, it is probably because you have not taken the time to research how each of field is different and has their own specialty. But don’t be offended… I had the same perception not long before I wrote this post. So let me share what I’ve learned – here goes!
Advertising – “a form of communication used to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services.”
This means that the main objective of advertising is to get a potential consumer to react. Companies advertise to get people to buy, refer, vote for, and otherwise advance the commercial objective of a company, product, or candidate. Advertising is often extremely expensive and quite an elaborate effort but only is meant to be heard or watched for thirty seconds or catch a glance. Advertisers try to appeal to a consumers commercial interests, often determined by their purchasing or polling history. The actions advertisers take are based on the information acquired and analyzed by marketers. Ads need to have strong branding and and are often repetitive in nature to ensure maximum exposure. Advertisers somewhat depend on interaction with media coverage and journalists for exposure.
Public Relations – “the actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc.”
PR is about building, repairing, and maintaining relationships in effort to be positively perceived by customers, employees, and community. The actions PR professionals take to build these relationships are also based on the research and analysis of marketers. PR professionals utilize advertising to help promote the positive image they wish to spread. Public relations functions as an extensions of the company’s or individual’s self image. PR professionals have the public’s interests in mind as much as they do for the entities the represent. Media coverage and reporting is essential to building a good public image and cooperation with journalists is one of the best ways to accomplish this.
Marketing – the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development.
– Principles of Marketing (Text Book)
The work marketers accomplish are often the basis for the actions that advertisers, and public relations professionals take. The statistics they produce and strategies they formulate are an entity’s initial step to representation and promotion of their product service or brand. Marketer conduct polls analyze markets and consumer reactions in order to create effective marketing strategies. A company or individual then implements these strategies through various advertising and PR campaigns and efforts.
Branding – “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
– American Marketing Association
PR Professionals, marketers, and advertisers utilize and encourage strong entity branding and a part of their strategies to accomplish their respective organizational goals. Strong branding in advertising helps an entity have a constant, recognizable, and unique presence in the marketplace. Marketers often study how consumers respond to brands and recommend how they should be altered and and exposed for an entity to optimize profit. Public relations is all about promoting the brand. PR professionals wish their client’s consumers, employees, and community to associate the feelings of good will they have for the company or individual with a strong tangible brand.
Journalism – “the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience.”
Journalism is all about relaying information. Beyond this, the concept of journalism can have wide variation. News related journalism is expected to be factual and unbiased. Although this is the supposed goal, any one news story and be reported in various different ways. However journalism is present in many different different ways. Magazines, blogs, editorials, all require journalists to investigate and report to their audience. Different audiences require a particular style of journalism. Journalists can write for entertainment, news, information, instruction, as well as various special interests. Journalism provides an avenue for marketers to gather information about how the entity they represent are perceived in the media. Press conferences and releases are often cited in the media.
I hope this brief explanation of each of theses areas provides a clearer understanding of how each field of study is unique as well as how they overlap and relate to each other.