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Marketing and PR: Making Sense of Complexity!

In this blog, Marketing Assistant Priya Khaira-Hanks looks at two separate aspects of how a tech company is likely to promote itself: PR & Marketing. What do they mean? What’s the difference? And how do they differ in the specific context of the Payara Platform?

PR vs. Marketing? Official Definitions?

First of all – what’s the difference? Let’s see what official key industry bodies say.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) says public relations, or PR, is: “The discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour.”

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) says marketing is: “the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”

What Does This Mean?! Breaking It Down

Firstly, there are lots of similarities. PRs and Marketeers will often have the same mission in the company. Both practices are ultimately about what your company is saying to the outside world.

PR is traditionally about promoting the company through “earned” content: media coverage! Talking to journalists and securing stories in the press about all important activities and significant events your company is doing. It can also involve interactions with the public, to negate negative coverage.

Marketing is more likely about promoting your company through direct channels; TV campaigns, Out of Home Advertising, digital marketing, content marketing, and communication through leaflets and posters.

Social media, events and videos can be claimed by PR AND Marketing (we get it, it’s confusing!). So can brand development, creating the messages and guiding documents that will shape your brand.

The big differentiator to hook onto is that Public Relations takes a wide view of reputation – what would a general member of the public and/or our intended audience say when they think about the company? How can we make their opinion of it what we want it to be, through indirect channels? –  while Marketing might seem more straightforwardly promotional and focus on the specifics – what are we going to say to the public and our audience, and how are we going to say it?

Press is the key differentiator:  getting your company in the news is still the domain of PRs! Tech reporters want to write about exciting news from companies that are doing and exploring new and different things. They want to be the first to break the news on an innovative new product, analyse and discuss upcoming trends, and speak with industry leaders.  They often receive hundreds of pitches every day and are always looking for the ones that stand out. Therefore, PR requires more effort than Marketing,  and careful consideration to whom to send a story.  Each story is relevant to a different audience of reporters, and companies should be careful to select ones that will resonate with the story.

Does It Matter?

Ultimately, it’s important for the disciplines to be closely aligned. It’s probably best not to get caught up in what falls into either camp and instead think about people you want to reach, what you want to say, and the varied ways you can say that effectively.

No one method is going to exist in isolation anyway. Press content would be nothing without social media to promote it in this day and age, and marketeers will always consider their company’s broader reputation as they create day-to-day promotional material.

How Do We Apply This at Payara?

  • We don’t get caught up in dividing the two. Our Marketeers and PRs complement each other!
  • When it comes to that traditional preserve of PR and media, the fact that our product is very technical means we can’t just expect any member of the public to understand terms like Jakarta EE, runtime, or even Java. We have to consider approaching media that is read by tech professionals and cooperate with Java influencers!
Payara Platform – technical media coverage!
  • There’s a distinction between PR about our company culture and our specific products – both in the type of media that we’ll approach, and the messages we want to get across.
Regional news
Payara Platform’s Company Culture in the press!
  • Our Marketeers move into that PR role, boosting wider reputations (plural – related technologies as well as our brand!) rather than communicating single messages!

In essence, working at Payara means taking a more flexible approach, thinking outside the box, and accommodating the unique values of open source business. It’s an example of how joining our HR, Marketing and Sales team offers interesting challenges and satisfying rewards. It’s good to end a day knowing you’ve helped a developer find the best choice for them!

Interest sparked by this more holistic approach? Think you’ve got what it takes to make waves?

Make sure to stay tuned for our latest open job opportunities:

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