Public Relations vs Integrated Marketing Communication: Difference and Comparison

Marketing Communication plays an important role in today’s effective marketing. Marketing communication means using various types of marketing channels and tools together.

Marketing communication is very important in a business because it aims to communicate the message to the market generally.

Marketing Communication consists of different types of tools like advertising, sponsorship, communication, public relations, personal selling, direct marketing, social media and promotion.

Because of the rise of digital marketing in this era, marketing communication has become very interactive. It has given birth to Integrated Marketing Communication.

Key Takeaways

  1. Public relations focuses on managing an organization’s reputation and stakeholder relationships.
  2. Integrated marketing communication combines strategies and tactics to deliver a consistent message.
  3. Public relation is a part of integrated marketing communication, but not all integrated marketing communication includes public relations.

Public Relations vs Integrated Marketing Communication

PR focuses on building and maintaining relationships with the media, while IMC is a broader approach that merges various marketing and communication channels to create a cohesive message. PR is used to generate positive publicity, while IMC is designed for marketing and communication efforts.

Public Relations vs Integrated Marketing Communication

Public Relations is a practice where the dissemination of information from an individual to government, organizations, or NGOs affects its public perception. Public Relations is confused with the term publicity.

But it is very different from it. Because publicity is not controlled. Whereas Public Relations is controlled, and it helps an individual to get exposure on different topics that interest the public.

It includes all news items and is based on media. Public Relations seek to provide coverage to its clients for free. This feature makes it very different from advertising of Marketing Communications.

Integrated Marketing communication is one of the newer forms of Marketing Communication that has emerged due to digital marketing techniques.

It is a multi-disciplinary approach that combines both traditional as well as modern practices of media.

It works on a holistic technique. It means that rather than seeing all the tools of Marketing Communication as separate and different.

IMC combines all the tools, integrates them and then creates a very powerful approach. The influence of IMC can be seen in newspapers, editorials, blogs, magazine advertisements etc.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPublic RelationsIntegrated Marketing Communication
DefinitionIt builds relationships between the public and an organization mutually.It utilizes all the tools of marketing to coordinate them.
RolesTo shape the image of an organization.Build a profitable relationship with customers.
ToolsNewsletters, advertorials, catalogues, business events, press releases, brochures, social media, publicity media etc.Mobile promotions, Advertising, Online marketing, Sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, Sponsorships etc
CareerAccount supervisor, Account coordinator, Account executive, and Media relations manager.Marketing Director, Marketing Specialist, Director of Consumer Affairs, Public Relations director etc.
ObjectiveTrust and IntegrityTarget market, create brand awareness etc.

What is Public Relations?

Definition of Public Relations came out in the 20th century and was explained by Ivy Lee.

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According to them, Public Relations is like an agent that works between media communications and society to provide them with various ideas that might be of public interest.

Public relations is connected to history because it was founded in the 19th century as Publicity Bureau. Publicity Bureau shows the beginning of Public relations.

Many scientists and academicians have found out mention of Public influence in marketing communication in ancient civilizations.

Like Aristotle Rhetoric, it is told that Public Relations is a developing concept and has improved over time.

In the modern era, Public Relations gives exposure and coverage to its client for a fee and is called earned media. It makes it different from the advertising.

But Public Relations has taken the role of everything so much that now it has also become the broader part of advertising.

The main motive of Public Relations is to inform everyone about the perspective of the public to its partners, employees, customers, investors, other stakeholders etc.

Then they are persuaded to maintain a positive view about their company, organization, products, services, leadership and decisions.

There are Public Relations professionals who work for PR in various organizations, governmental agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, businesses, companies as public information officials.

Various jobs related to PR are Account supervisor, Account coordinator, Account executive, and Media relations manager.

Public Relations

What is Integrated Marketing Communication?

Integrated Marketing Communication is the new approach of Marketing communication that unites all the elements of Communications together to create an identity across its various channels.

Its tools are social media, audience analytics, business development principles, public relations, and advertising.

Because of the integration, it provides all the organizations, whether it be public or private, businesses a seamless experience with their products and services.

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IMC manages to create an engaging relationship with the stakeholders as well as optimizes the image of the organization to a great level that provides profit.

Because of its merger, IMC becomes a holistic approach allowing both the old and new modern techniques of media. IMC provides profit to all those professionals who are related to this field.

By using its strategies and theories, they can create, execute and track the multi-channel advertisement and communication messages that help them to target and influence their audiences specifically.

Because of its multiplicity and more popularity, IMC has become so famous that now it is studied as a course at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Its effect can be seen in blogs, newspapers, displays, advertisements, billboards, magazine ads etc.

Main Differences Between Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communication

  1. Public Relations builds relationships between the public and an organization mutually. Integrated Marketing Communication utilizes all the tools of marketing to coordinate them.
  2. The role of Public Relations is to maintain the image of an organization especially showing them in a positive light. The role of Integrated Marketing Communication is to build a profitable relationship with customers.
  3. Tools of Public Relations is Press releases, brochures, Social media, Newsletters, Advertorials, catalogues, Business events, publicity media etc. Tools of Integrated Marketing Communication are Mobile promotions, Advertising, Online marketing, Sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, Sponsorships etc.
  4. Careers in PR include Account supervisor, Account coordinator, Account executive, and Media relations manager. Careers in IMC include Marketing Director, Marketing Specialist, Director of Consumer Affairs, Public Relations director etc
  5. The objective of Public Relations is trust and integrity. The objective of Integrated Marketing Communication is to create brand awareness, target the audience, select communication methods and generate sales.
Difference Between Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communication
References
  1. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&profile=ehost&scope=site&authtype=crawler&jrnl=19433735&AN=59685778&h=vU%2BhRoz04CFbW%2BoHLFtwStN9Cphr0L%2Bmh3XV6VYuN5P9MttVpjMoUcGsQZSiLQFzxzvV7CDU41PFqd7bQdc4eg%3D%3D&crl=c
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1300/J057v01n01_07

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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