What is the difference between a marketing manager and a public relations manager?

Would you make a good public relations specialist or marketing manager? Take our career test and find your match with over 800 careers.

Take the free career test Learn more about the career test

Although there are some similarities, marketing managers and public relations managers have different roles and day-to-day responsibilities:

Marketing Manager
Marketing aims to reach current and potential customers in order to return direct sales by way of advertising, promotional, and direct marketing. Marketing is defined by Dr. Phillip Kotler as “the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit.”

Marketing managers help generate sales for a product or service by creating and overseeing marketing plans. They perform extensive market research so as to make informed decisions and seek out new and emerging market trends, work with advertising agencies and the media so as to reach their marketing objectives, manage budgets, and work with a company's marketing staff and creative team to develop marketing campaigns. They are the go-to people on anything related to marketing a product or service, as they have a pulse on the latest social media, graphic design trends, and web designs.

Marketing managers require a high level of creativity and top-tier professionalism. They often work closely with an organization's executives, providing them with an in-depth understanding of marketing trends, new marketing strategies, and on-going campaigns.

Public Relations Manager
Public relations is focused on maintaining positive media coverage and positive relationships with those who have an interest in the company or brand. This covers a broader audience, from customers and media to employees and stakeholders. The PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) says that “public relations helps an organization and its publics 
adapt mutually to each other. Public relations broadly applies to organizations as a collective group, not just a business; and publics encompass the variety of different stakeholders.”

Public relations managers are experts in maintaining a positive public image for their clients by communicating effectively through written, verbal, and interpersonal form. They do this by sending out media releases, creating media kits for product launches and promotions, handling press conferences, and creating and writing messages/speeches delivered by their clients. They also respond to unfavourable publicity by creating and leading all communication with the goal of restoring the public's trust. Public relations managers proactively work with public relations staff and creative staff (writers and designers), to develop a positive image for their clients.

While a marketing manager and a public relations manager's core roles are very different, both types of managers must have excellent verbal, written, interpersonal, and leadership skills. They must also possess strong business knowledge, which comes from years of professional experience.

A marketing manager going over strategies with her marketing team.

Related Careers



Your Match?
Avg Wage
3.0 / 5

Did you love science as a kid?