Difference Between Marketing Manager & Public Relations Manager

Love communications? If so, you might be considering a career as either a marketing manager or a public relations manager. While both positions require similar skills, responsibilities vary greatly. Learn more about the duties of each position.

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Comparing Marketing Manager to Public Relations Manager

Although there are numerous similarities, marketing managers and public relations managers have distinctly different roles and day-to-day duties. As their title suggests, marketing managers focus most of their efforts on marketing products and services. Public relations managers, however, are dedicated to preserving the image of organizations and clients. A few of the similarities and differences between these careers is highlighted below.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Marketing Manager Bachelor's Degree $131,180 9%
Public Relations Manager Bachelor's Degree $107,320 7% (for all public relations and fundraising managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of a Marketing Manager vs a Public Relations Manager

Marketing managers create and oversee marketing plans to help generate sales for a product or service. They must also manage other marketing staff members and work with their creative team to fully develop marketing campaigns. Public relations managers are responsible for maintaining a positive public image for their clients or organization. They achieve this goal through the distribution of media releases, handling press conferences, and responding to unfavorable publicity in a strategic way. While their core roles are quite different, marketing managers and public relations managers must possess exceptional verbal, written, and interpersonal skills. They must also have strong leadership skills, business knowledge, and typically an average of seven years of professional experience.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers are the go-to people when looking for advice on all things related to marketing a product or service. These managers lead the everyday efforts of marketing departments and keep up-to-date on the latest social media, web design, and graphic design trends. They are outstanding communicators, have an in-depth understanding of managing budgets and have the ability to collaborate with top executives on company goals. Although many marketing managers have years of experience plus a bachelor's degree, some marketing managers are required to have a master's degree. Due to the extensive expectations of marketing managers, the position requires long hours, a high level of creativity, and top-tier professionalism.

  • Performs market research in order to make effective decisions about marketing initiatives
  • Works with ad agencies and the media to achieve marketing objectives
  • Proactively seeks out the latest information on new and emerging market trends
  • Uses leadership skills to manage creative/marketing team

Public Relations Manager

In-depth industry knowledge acquired from years of experience make public relations managers experts in maintaining a positive public image for their clients. In addition to basic media relations tasks, they craft the messages (including speeches) delivered by their clients. When problems arise for clients, public relations managers are busy creating and leading all emergency communication in an effort to restore the public's trust. Long hours, extensive travel, and stressful working conditions are all a regular part of the life of a public relations manager.

  • Manages public relations staff members (including creative staff such as designers and writers)
  • Communicates (written, verbal, and interpersonal) clearly and effectively in stressful situations
  • Proactively develops ways of producing a positive image for clients
  • Creates media kits for product launches and promotions

Related Careers

If you are interested in becoming a marketing manager, the core job duties of a market research analyst may also interest you, as both positions require regular analysis of market trends. Alternatively, if you are interested in becoming a public relations manager, you may also want to consider working as a content writer, since both positions require extensive writing.

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