How Public Relations differs from Journalism, Advertising, and Marketing

Public relations is commonly associated with journalism, advertising and marketing; this is justified reasoning as all four have similarities, yet public relations differs greatly from each.  Public relations differs from journalism in that journalism is mostly media related whereas public relations can deal with a wide scope of things, including counseling, issues management, and public image. Journalists’ goals are to gather and report information, whereas public relations communication is a way to manage an employer or a large company. While journalists write for a mass audience, public relations officials write for a targeted audience, a certain demographic depending on the present issue. The other difference is that journalists write to be published while public relations professionals use a variety of channels to reach their audience.

Public relations differs from advertising in certain areas too.  Advertising is a part of public relations. Material that is to be advertised is created by public relations professionals and then given to a certain advertising outlet depending on the public relation professional’s issue and is then used or discarded by the advertising professionals. Advertising is primarily directed to a targeted group, especially consumers of good and services. Public relations is targeted not towards selling a product, but rather towards dealing with social, economic and political factors to help further an organization or employer in the business world.

While marketing and public relations are similar in many ways, they also differ in certain areas as well. The main goal of marketing is to sell goods and services, whereas public relations is more towards creating a good image for an organization or an employer. Public relations deals more with a specific demographic according to the organization, and marketing tends to be directed towards a specific audience that marketers are trying to reach and to win over.

While public relations is very similar to journalism, advertising, and marketing, it has its distinct differences that make it its own unique profession.


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