The difference between marketing and more classic public relations is simple. Marketing is designed to promote and sell products or services. PR, on the other hand, is about building mutual understanding between an organization and its publics; it’s about helping the organization tell its stories.
That last phrase, “tell its stories,” can be problematic. To be sure, there is power in telling stories. An old Indian proverb says: “Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”
I love that proverb and I love stories. But when it’s a company—particularly one facing stiff resistance to his message—simply telling may fall on deaf ears. Good communicators understand the difference between telling and showing, because a demonstration will reach people at a deeper level and create greater understanding.