Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations: What’s the Difference?

Marketing, advertising, and public relations.  If you’re in any of these fields, you have most likely been exposed to all of these categories and understand the complex ins and outs.  Anyone not in these industries, though, may struggle to comprehend what exactly people in these fields do. Worse yet, they may even use these terms interchangeably.  These fields are actually quite different though, with unique responsibilities and goals embedded in each. Here is a brief breakdown of the different fields:

1) Marketing

Marketing can be used as an umbrella term for delivering a product to a target audience, and advertising and public relations fall under this broad umbrella. Generally speaking, it’s the sum of all parts. The goal of marketing is to acquire customers through the promotion of products or services, establish relationships with them and then maintain those relationships over time. A good synonym for marketing, and another way to think about it, is promotion, which is referenced above. Ultimately, your goal is to market or promote your product through various channels.

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2) Advertising

Advertising, as mentioned above, is one slice of the marketing pie that includes paid-for media exposure. The goal of an ad is to tell the target audience important and specific company information and facts through various mediums, including television, print (e.g., newspapers, magazines, journals,) radio, press, internet, direct selling, contests, sponsorships, posters, clothes, events, and even people (ambassadors.) Overall, the goal of advertising is to inform, persuade, or remind customers about your product, service or brand to get them to buy into it.

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3) Public Relations

Public relations helps establish positive brand image and increase brand awareness; it’s all about reputation management. Public relations can include press releases, events, speaking opportunities, sponsorships, and media relations for the client. The goals are more broad than those of advertising and vary from client to client. For some, it’s about creating a reputation that previously didn’t exist because you’re a new company or a new service. For others, it’s about reputation management in the sense of diverting attention away from potentially damaging press to maintain that positive image. The services that PR offers are very tailored to each client’s wishes, but the biggest difference between PR and advertising is that PR is usually made up of earned media - i.e. organic and unpaid for - while advertising is paid for.

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Marketing is not just a nice thing to have, it’s an important asset for companies to utilize. Therefore, it’s always good to know the differences, whether you’re thinking about pursuing one of the fields, know someone in the field, or are simply curious.

By: Ilana Weinberger

Case Studies of New York-Centric Ads

By the time you arrive at work in the morning, you have already been bombarded with ads.  Simply by walking to and out of the subway, and by being on the subway, you have already seen hundreds of images, logos, and slogans.  You are exposed to more than you realize; just try counting the ads on your commute tomorrow.  I take the 4/5/6 to get to work in the morning, and love paying attention to my morning subway’s ads.  Two of my favorite ad campaigns at the moment include and Seamless’ “How New York Eats” campaign and StreetEasy’s “Find Your Place” campaign.  This had me thinking about what works about these campaigns.  I realized that they actually have a lot in common—they both target New Yorkers in a way that pokes fun at their ridiculousness.

As a Jersey girl, I immediately noticed the immense differences between New Jersey and New York when I moved here about four years ago.  New Jersians have a reputation of being small-town and nice.  New Yorkers are known for being pretty much the opposite of that.  They have a reputation of being loud and audacious.  These differences made moving a state away feel like moving a world away.  I’ve learned a lot in this crazy city, mostly that you should be confident and try to expect the unexpected.  I’ve learned that New Yorkers are filled with contradictions—they want to go to brunch and yoga but they don’t want to spend money, they want to sleep but they also want to bragplain to their friends about how little they sleep.

        Seamless and StreetEasy understood just how crazy New Yorkers can be when they released their campaigns.  Seamless’ “How New York Eats” campaign includes tongue-in-cheek one-liners that harness the insanity that is New York dining.  One of my favorites goes, “Nothing ruins a good meal like other New Yorkers.”  The ad includes a graphic of the New York skyline.  The ads’ color schemes are bold, using background colors such as red, yellow, and blue.  All of the graphics are cartoonish, with fonts of all kinds.  The goal is to be fun enough to capture the attention of their target audience, New Yorkers, in an age where information is constantly thrown in consumers’ faces.

 

        StreetEasy also created their campaign around the idea of poking fun at New Yorkers in their “Find Your Place” campaign.  My favorite ad from this campaign reads, “No doorman for me.  I have enough people in my life judging me.”  This is just funny, and also points to the contradictory nature of New Yorkers—they want a doorman, but they also don’t want more people in their lives to judge them.  The ads in this campaign are subtler than Seamless’ ads; they are all different shades of blue, with words all in the same font, and with more subdued graphics.  The ads are unique in their format.  For example, in the doorman ad, the word “doorman” has a check mark next to it, as though you are on StreetEasy’s website and have the option of checking or exing the doorman box.


        Basically, New Yorkers are crazy, and ad creators are checking in to this truism.  I appreciate a good ad, and I’ve learned to love New York, so the combination that is utilized in Seamless and StreetEasy’s clever ads makes me smile.  What a funny city.  I heart NY.

By Ilana Weinberger