Advertising, Marketing & PR

Career Information


Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service that people will buy.  It is the link between an organization and its target audience, which can include customers, investors, clients, or strategic partners.  Through marketing, an organization anticipates the needs of potential customers and then positions itself to satisfy those needs.

The 4Ps of marketing are product, price, promotion and place.  Product is the research and development of the product or service.  Price is driven by the market and the pricing strategy for the product.  Place is where the product how and where the product is distributed.  Promotion involves the messaging and communications that attract consumers to purchase the product.

Advertising, public relations, market research, development, product distribution, customer support and sales are all strategic functions within the marketing field.


Advertising is a form of paid marketing communication that drives a target audience to take a desired action.  It is commonly used to encourage or persuade behavior with respect to a product, service, political campaign or ideology.  Advertising joins quantitative and qualitative research with the creative process. 

Advertising agency clients include businesses, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.  Work with clients focuses on the messaging for a specific brand or product developed by that client.  Advertising agencies help their clients determine how to define that brand or product by providing guidance on strategy, concept, development and execution.

Public Relations

According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Public Relations (PR) is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.  PR professionals work with anyone seeking to promote an image or message to the public, including businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and individuals. 

PR professionals share information on behalf of their clients through print and broadcast media by pitching story ideas to reporters.  Other tasks a PR professional may perform on behalf of a client include crafting press releases, developing an overall communication strategy, managing negative publicity, and delivering appropriate messages to an audience.

Similarities and Differences

The terms “marketing,” “advertising” and “public relations” are often used interchangeably, but there are some key differences between the three fields. 

Field Marketing Advertising Public Relations
Definition A comprehensive effort to promote a product or service on behalf of a client through the use of a combination of strategic techniques and promotional activities. A component of the marketing process focused on the creative promotion of a product or service A component of the marketing process focused on specialized communication and messaging
Final Goal To strategically bring a product to market that consumers will buy To build awareness about a product or service to prompt immediate reaction from consumers To build a positive rapport with an audience through strategically crafted messages in the media and relationships with stakeholders
Key Contacts Advertisers, researchers, public relations professionals, media planners, distributers,

sales consultants, customer service professionals

Clients, other advertising professionals, media sales professionals

Print and broadcast media journalists, event planners


The resources below will provide you with more information about industry trends, career paths and employers in the fields of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations: