PR, Social Media, and Influencer Marketing: What’s the Difference?

public relations agency

A public relations agency generally offers at least three services: PR, social media, and influencer marketing. Between the three categories, it can be hard for a business owner to discern the differences. While each tactic has its benefits, understanding what they do and the kind of ROI they can bring is key. A good public relations agency will help guide you through the selection process, and help you choose the right one or combination that will maximize your investment. 

To help you get started, here is the difference between the three to give you a better understanding of what they are and how they can help your brand.


Public Relations

Public relations aims to shape the opinion of the market sphere through the use of media outlets. Whether that be online or physical copies of magazines or newspapers. By incorporating traditional and digital media strategies into a business’s marketing plan, you can grab the attention of an audience of a certain age range, or demographic that it isn’t present on social media. Overall, public relation’s wide net allows you to reach a vast audience.

Some tactics that fall under the umbrella of PR include press placements, PR stunts, or events. The important difference between PR and marketing, however, is that PR results are generally organically earned. This means that instead of purchasing ads, you are working to create newsworthy, interesting content that media will want to cover. PR is a more authentic way of earning consumer attention. It works great in conjunction with traditional marketing strategies – but it does NOT replace them.


Social Media

The beauty of social media’s popularity is the ability to keep your brand in the public eye. By being active on social media it allows you to communicate and engage with your followers consistently. Social media allows you to connect with your audience in a way that wasn’t formerly possible. You can show them behind the scenes of the business, talk to them directly, and offer them information they wouldn’t know just from buying your products or services. This gains public trust and betters consumer relationships, which is key. Tracking content engagement and follower growth is a great way to monitor progress and what strategies are most effective.

Additionally, social media is effectively a marketing strategy itself. This additional presence is free advertising for your brand – but if your social media looks good. That is why it is essential to not just post randomly and off-brand content. You need to have an on-brand, targeted strategy in order to maximize your social media ROI.


Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is like the modern equivalent of a celebrity endorsement TV ad. People love to get product recommendations from people they idolize and trust. Using their unique voice and personality, influencers can promote your business and use their already established platform to reach a wider audience for you.

However, it is essential to choose influencers that best represents the aesthetic, ideology, and lifestyle of your business. Off-brand influencers will make your campaign seem inauthentic and salesy, and consumers can see right through it. In order to make this strategy effective, lots of research must be done into an influencers’ feed, content style, voice, audience, and reputation. 

For more information on how to make sure your public relations agency is relevant and up to date on marketing trends, click here.