Public Relations is not the same as Sales & Marketing. So why do so many people confuse the two?

Probably because how intertwined they are and so many areas do actually overlap. But firstly let’s look at the definition of PR as defined by the PR Institute of Australia.

“The deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain a mutual understanding between and organization and it’s publics.”

So there you have it. As you can see there is no mention of the words sales and selling and definitely nothing about the effect on the bottom line. Although the bottom line of Public Relations is that it’s all about TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION. It’s as simple as that!

The function of Public Relations is to set the stage to support your sales and marketing initiatives as it’s about creating, enhancing, shaping or changing public attitudes and perceptions. And how is this done? Basically by providing information and to your key stakeholders whether they be the media, industry corporations, consumer or client.

Here are some basic do’s and don’ts when dealing with journalists:

  • Do have the courtesy to understand the journalist’s publication, the deadlines they work to and most importantly their ‘beats’ or topics they write about.
  • Do follow-up when sending a press release, although don’t say, “I’m just checking if you received my email.” Say what it is you want to say, and don’t waste their time. Do treat all journalists equally – you never know how long it’ll be before that Journalist Intern becomes an Editor-in-Chief.
  • Do try and make a journalist’s job as easy as possible by using your initiative and providing as much material upfront as possible, and by being contactable at all times. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called in the middle of the night with last minute requests. Keep your phone on, as you’ll be surprised how often small stories have become bigger ones just because you’re ‘available’ to comment.
  • Don’t assume that your article will appear when a journalist tells you it will. Sometimes more newsworthy stories will ‘bump’ your story out of the picture, meaning it’ll be postponed or may not appear at all.

Marina Mathews is a guest blogger at Bionic Creative. She is the General Manager of Crocmedia Singapore and is a self-confessed lover of all things New York. Australian-born Marina has travelled to over 40 countries worldwide. Settling in Singapore, she now focuses on providing specialist PR & Media Relations services for her international league of clients.