Why Use a Public Relations Agency in Addition to a Marketing Firm?

Many business owners fail to understand the difference between a public relations or PR firm versus a marketing firm and what each one actually does for a company. A marketing firm specializes in paid advertisements for a business, whereas a PR firm specialises in editorial copy or news regarding a company; this may work by way of advertisement, but it may also be used for making announcements, handling negative stories in the press and the like.

If you own a business of any sort, you may want to consider using a public relations agency in addition to a marketing firm. Note the advantages and benefits PR agencies offer.

1. A PR firm analyses public opinion

A marketing company may come up with ads and create commercials by the dozens, but if public opinion of your product or industry is very negative, those ads and commercials will typically have little impact. A PR firm will analyse public opinion versus the buying habits of the public and will work to create a strategy that improves the public's opinion of your company or brand. The marketing company can then adjust their strategies as well.

As an example, a fast food company may be told by their PR firm that public opinion is typically very negative toward fast food; the public sees it as cheap and unhealthy and the restaurants loud and rushed. With that information, the marketing firm may create ads and commercials that portray wholesome items on the menu and the restaurant as being a good place for families on a budget. They might create commercials that show families with young children relaxing at the restaurant. Rather than just trying to sell products, they are now addressing public opinion, as analysed by the PR firm. This in turn may increase business.

2. Editorial articles may be seen as more reliable

A PR firm may work with newspaper and website writers to create stories about a business, and this may be seen as more reliable than simple marketing. Most people know you pay to have ads created and that they are meant to sell a product; they may then view these with a bit of scepticism. However, a story in a newspaper or that's reported on by a respected website may be seen as more credible and reliable. The general public may be more likely to accept and believe a news story about your product or your business than they would a simple commercial, which in turn can create business or generate sales.