How Public Relations differs from the following…
Journalists provide information for mass audiences, and the general public. Public relation professionals tailor their messages to specific demographics, or psychological characteristics, in relation to interest, concerns and needs. Usually, journalists work with print or broadcast, whereas PR professionals use a variety of channels and combinations of media outlets, (i.e. newspapers, magazines, radio and television) and also through, pamphlets, posters, newsletters, special events and Internet tools.
Advertising is addressed to external audiences and is paid for! Space and time is purchased and the content on display is controlled. Part of the process of public relations is material must go through media gatekeepers, who ultimately make the decision whether to include the information as part of the news story or feature. Sometimes the information offered, through press releases or media kits are not always exactly portrayed the way it might have been intended to. However, advertising guarantees how audiences will be exposed to the message just as the client wants.
In marketing, the primary focus is concentrated on customers and the sale of products or services. In public relations the purpose is to build relationships and trust, while generating support for the organization. Public relations can, however, be a part of a marketing strategy. The two often coincide, in that they hope to raise awareness, inform, educate and give people a reason to invest and interest in the product or organization.
*Some information taken from
Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics
D. Wilcox, G. Cameron, P. Ault, W. Agee
8th Edition 2007