For Start-Ups: Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising – What’s the Difference?

Jul 27 2017

For Start-Ups: Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising – What’s the Difference?

Most start-up companies work on a shoe-string budget for years to create something new and compelling for potential customers. But when it comes time to launch their product or service, many find themselves a bit lost in trying to understand the difference between the main communications fields – public relations, marketing and advertising.

There’s a saying that “advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.” While the saying holds true for the uninitiated, public relations professionals know most coverage is earned (maybe with a few prayers thrown in as well.)

Marketing and advertising are definitely what you pay for. Think of the top-tier companies in your industry that spend millions of dollars to get their names and products plastered on consumer websites and magazines. Advertising is paid media, meaning your message is created to draw your customers’ attention and is strategically placed where your funds can afford them. Marketing is also heavily focused on customers by analyzing specific groups of like-minded individuals to push the promotion of products through various channels. Both advertising and marketing are typically much costlier approaches than PR.

Over the years, the preferred communications field has moved to PR and social media, which is general under the auspices of public relations.  For established firms, PR is a must-have to remain competitive and maintain visibility and awareness.  For start-ups, PR can be a highly cost-effective solution in gaining credibility and visibility in the market place.

To help illustrate, here are three recent examples of start-up media results secured by the GRC team:

• CiceroDx is a pioneer in the field of women’s health diagnostics, focusing on technologies that lead to cost-effective answers for unresolved fertility or chronic pain. GRC was able to secure immediate coverage for CiceroDx on – one of the top women’s lifestyle sites in the country, averaging 70 million unique visitors per month and 340 million social media fans and followers.

• The CEO of Reveal Mobile, a start-up whose mission is to create the world’s most accurate source of mobile location data, was quoted as an expert source in a recent article by the Associated Press that was re-posted on over 150 news sites, including the New York Times, CNBC, ABC News and CNET.

• ClipCall uses artificial intelligence to create a user-friendly and efficient process for all home maintenance and improvement needs. In a short amount of time, the GRC team was able to earn media coverage on Digital Trends, My Domaine, Android Headlines and more.  In addition, GRC created a submission that resulted in the company winning the 2017 Appy Award for Best in Home/Garden/Interior Design/Lifestyle.

In addition to telling your story to target markets, media coverage for start-ups often leads to a ‘snowball effect’ that helps validate the company in the eyes of other media, investors, partners, potential employees and more.  When conducted with imagination, determination and authenticity, a PR program can provide a jolt of momentum for start-ups that can be leveraged for years to come.

Share Post