PR vs. Marketing… what’s the difference?

By Jess Carnprobst

This summer I have been interning at Think Communications, Inc., an integrated marketing solutions firm. Their work includes public relations, advertising, marketing and design. Students studying strategic communications in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism sometimes only see the public relations and advertising side of things, so I’ve gained a different perspective at Think Communications, Inc.

Being that this is my first internship, I have never experienced the work environment of an agency that only specializes in public relations or marketing, so feel free to have your own opinion. However, I think it is very beneficial to see marketing and public relations working together. Marketing involves the business of selling products and services whereas public relations is about the representation of a person or company. The success of products and services is essential in making a good image for that person or company. When an agency can control both of these from the same office, it makes matters more simple and successful.

After interning at Think Communications, Inc., it seems natural to do marketing, public relations and advertising all together. I have done work in all three of these areas and therefore have seen and accomplished an assortment of tasks. In turn, this has helped me gain a wide variety of experience. Each day of my internship provides something new and different. Some days I help to plan a big event or send emails and make calls. I have also written press releases and radio spots. On other days, I research information for a company to help with its sales or enhance its website. Sometimes, I provide my opinion on an advertisement or help to come up with creative titles. For only one summer, I’ve done a lot!

Being that I am just going into my sophomore year and still have a lot to learn, it was great to see all of these different skills and practice areas come together. This experience helped to broaden my portfolio and skillset as well as allow me to see non-traditional public relations work.

With that being said, if you are ever given the chance to intern or work at an agency with a wide variety of skills such as marketing and public relations, I highly recommend to grab that offer and learn, learn, learn! I have been given an amazing opportunity to learn more than I ever thought I could in just one summer. Seeing and taking part in marketing and public relations work kept each day new and exciting. I learned something new every single day I was in the office and will take all the new information back to OU with me.

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