I get asked this question a lot. In general, marketing is when you talk to your desired audience directly yourself. Think ads, EDMs, points of sale, expos, social media, mail drops and the likes of.
PR is when you get someone else with an audience or influence to talk about you, so you can think of PR as word of mouth on a far larger scale as if you get a journalist, celebrity, KOL or a relevant influencer to talk about you, you are going to reach far more people at one time than if a person is talking about you one on one with someone else.
Additionally PR allows you to cement yourself as an expert by sharing your expertise and getting involved in relevant conversations that have to do with you and your business. Marketing can allow you to do that too, but doing it through a credible platform is more likely to get you seen as a credible expert.
Both go hand in hand. You want to speak to your customer directly, but you also want PR to build your authority, trust and to reach more relevant people.
I should also mention that according to Hubspot, Nine in ten buying decisions are made with peer recommendations. I’ll just leave that there…