The science of marketing involves market research, segmenting the market and building and executing a marketing plan that fulfills business goals.
People in public relations (PR), on the other hand, work to get exposure for the brand, the organization and its people in the media. Although the lines blur between the two careers, they are distinct roles.
Is marketing or PR the web working career for you?
Types of Marketing and PR Careers
Not all marketing and PR jobs involve the same roles and responsibilities. Marketing and PR covers many careers, ranging from advertising manager, to media coordinator and brand manager, to social media manager. Here are some high-level job descriptions:
Marketing: Create, plan and deliver the company’s communications program to promote the company, its brand, its products and its services.
PR and Media Relations: PR and media relations professionals target online and offline media to promote their clients’ business or expertise, with the goal of seeing their name, company or product mentioned. Successful workers build relationships with the media, event coordinators and other organizations for partnering and sponsoring activities as well as working to get the company and its people into stories.
Researcher: The researcher investigates the client’s target market, industry and business.
How to Qualify
Like many other web working jobs, many marketers learned their trade in past jobs. Matt Scherer, president of Scherer Communications, spent 20 years in the Air Force working in public affairs, with ten of them as an editor. He also received a second degree in Marketing before founding his firm. “When I went back to college, I worked part-time as a reporter for the San Antonio Express-News and as a producer for KSAT 12. Those jobs helped me to hone my skills and understand how to pitch to the media,” says Scherer.
Before diving into marketing, web marketer Lorrie Thomas worked for an online advertising network. “I learned by doing. I had no choice: sink or swim. I rolled up my sleeves, ate my humble pie, failed a lot and only asked for help after I had tried as hard as I could first,” Thomas says.
Marketing and PR Tools
Many marketers and PR personnel say they rely on social media tools including Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs, along with their cell phones. Like most web workers, their toolbox holds word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and finance applications.
Online meeting applications provide value for meeting with clients and conducting presentations and webinars. Marketers also use email newsletter services.
Referrals and happy customers are how most marketers and PR professionals land gigs. Scherer says that his San Antonio Express-News blog also helped. Hank Stroll of InternetVIZ, a custom business-to-business newsletter publishing company, saw a need among technology companies that struggled to share their value with clients and prospects. His company created a prototype email newsletter, which grew their business from 250 business executives to over 400,000 readers. He has a call to action offering a free prototype, which brings prospects into his sales cycle. In Lorrie Thomas’ case, she wants to fill seats in her virtual classroom. “Most students confess to checking out my web sites before they sign up for my class because they want to see if I know my stuff first!”
Would you consider a marketing or PR career?
Photo credit: Sophie