The Circus Is Coming To Town – Understanding The Differences Between Marketing, PR and Sales

The following quote is attributed to M. Booth and Associates, Inc. as taken from a Reader’s Digest story called, Promoting Issues and Ideas.  It does a great job of illustrating the differences between Marketing, PR and Sales and also how they are all so important to create an overall business strategy for a business. What do you think?

“If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying ‘Circus coming to the Fairground Saturday’, that’s advertising.  If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion.  If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flower bed, that’s publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations. If you did all of this on purpose, that’s marketing.  If the towns citizens go to the circus, you show them the entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus, that’s sales.

It is so important in my business to be clear that PR is a sustained range of activities which can create increased coverage and builds brand credibility but it is NOT sales. Of course that is not to say that it will not lead to increased sales but in and of itself it is not the solution to sales.