What Is The Difference Between Marketing, Advertising And PR?


Public relations (PR) and advertising are often confused under the umbrella of “marketing.”

If you’re interested in hatching a career in marketing, you absolutely should know the differences between the fields!

Here’s an entry level breakdown of the differences between these egg-citing career paths. Which one is right for you?


Marketing is a set of business practices designed to plan for and present an organization’s products or services in ways that build effective customer relationships.”

– Canadian Marketing Association’s Code of Ethics and Practice

Marketing is a process. A company develops marketing strategies, places its ads and eventually (hopefully!) sells you on a product or idea. E-Marketing: the Essential Guide to Digital Marketing shares the 4Ps of marketing with an extra “P”:

  • Products are what the company sells.
  • Placement & distribution are its location, market and the channels of distribution. The internet is a channel of distribution for intangible products like music, e-books, etc.
  • Price is determined based on competition, brand loyalty and other factors.
  • Promotion This can be done via traditional means (print ads, television ads) or digital media (social media, websites).
  • People is the extra “P”. A marketer’s ultimate goal is to engage people and build relationships with them.

Marketing makes sure the right product reaches the right target audience at the right time. This is all coordinated through roles in Market Research, Market Management, Community Management, SEO Management, Creative Direction, Account Management and more!


Advertising falls under the promotions category of marketing. It deals with the production of advertising materials such as banners, billboards, magazine ads and social media campaigns. Ads are created to develop brand awareness, sell a product, gain customer loyalty and more.

‘Advertising’ and ‘advertisement(s)’ are defined as any message (the content of which is controlled directly or indirectly by the advertiser) expressed in any language and communicated in any medium (except those listed under Exclusions) to Canadians with the intent to influence their choice, opinion or behaviour.”

The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards

Within advertising, there are a number of egg-citing roles including Creative Lead, Account Services, Media Buyer and more! These roles exist to strategize, create, coordinate and execute advertising campaigns.

Public Relations

The Public Relations department helps manage a brand’s reputation. PR Firms may work for corporations and figures like politicians, entertainers, sports teams and corporations. Their duties may include:

  • Writing press releases.
  • Contacting media relations and establishing relationships.
  • Creating a “buzz” about their clients.

Public relations is the strategic management of relationships between an organization and its diverse public, through the use of communication, to achieve mutual understanding, realize organizational goals and serve the public interest.”

Canadian Public Relations Society

As an entry-level worker in the Public Relations domain, you’ll usually start as an Account Coordinator. Here, you can work on smaller clients’ needs, build a portfolio and eventually work your way up!

Learn about entry level salaries in sales and marketing and find out how to hatch your career in TalentEgg’s Sales and Marketing Career Guide!

Sources: Canadian Public Relations SocietyCanadian Marketing Association’s Code of Ethics and PracticeThe Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, E-Marketing: The Essential Guide to Digital Marketing 

About the author

Jessica Cruz 's scattered thoughts, ideas and quirky comics travel from her mind to paper. She enjoys narrative writing, graphic design, outdoor sports, and occasionally defeating virtual zombies. Her final year at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College (joint program) lands a double major in Communication, Culture & Information Technology (CCIT) and Professional Writing. She faces a career quest in the realm of marketing, design, writing, and web. Find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.