3 minute read

6 big differences between PR and recruitment marketing

Are you a recruitment agency looking to build and promote your brand? Public relations and marketing are two important tactics that can help you achieve your goals. But what are the differences between the two, and how can you combine them to create an effective strategy?

Let's start by comparing public relations and marketing:


Public Relations




To build and maintain relationships between your organisation and your target audience.


To promote and sell your recruitment services to your target audience in order to generate revenue.


The general public targeted by publication and topical interest, including media outlets, and stakeholders.


A specific targeted audience, potentially based on demographics, interests, or other factors.


A strategic and long-term approach, focusing on building relationships and reputation over time.


A more tactical and short-term approach, emphasising the promotion of specific services.


Press releases, media outreach, events, social media, and other public-facing channels.


Advertising, job boards, email marketing, social media, search engine optimisation (SEO), direct mail, and other promotional channels.


Focuses on building and maintaining a positive reputation for your organisation, including highlighting data, expertise and thought leadership.


Emphasises the benefits and features of your business and services, with a focus on generating sales.

Measurable Outcomes

Measured in terms of brand awareness, reputation, and overall public perception.


Measured in terms of revenue generated, leads generated, or specific sales goals achieved.


Here’s how recruitment agencies can use public relations and marketing to achieve different goals:

  • Public relations focuses on building and maintaining relationships with the general public, stakeholders, and media outlets.
  • Marketing, on the other hand, focuses on promoting specific products or services to a specific target audience.
  • Public relations takes a strategic and long-term approach, while marketing takes a more tactical and short-term approach.


The channels and messaging used for each approach also differ:

  • Public relations channels include press releases, media outreach, events, social media, and other public-facing channels. While marketing channels include advertising, email marketing, social media, SEO, direct mail, and other promotional channels.


  • The messaging for public relations is focused on building and maintaining a positive reputation for the organisation. While marketing messaging emphasises the benefits and features of a specific product or service.

So, how can recruitment agencies use the benefits of PR and marketing tactics to achieve their goals?

Combining public relations and marketing

Public relations and marketing are two of the most powerful tools in a recruitment agency's arsenal. They can help you attract candidates & clients, build your brand, and increase employee attraction. But how do you know which one to use and when?

The truth is, to create a well-rounded PR and marketing strategy, you can combine both tactics.


Here are a few ways recruitment agencies can combine their PR and marketing activities:

  • You can use marketing tactics to promote your own brand and build awareness with your target audience. You can leverage various promotional channels, such as social media and email marketing, to effectively communicate your unique value proposition. This will help you to demonstrate your expertise and build trust with potential clients and candidates.


  • You can use your media relationships to generate positive coverage and earn media mentions. You can provide expert commentary on industry trends, offer insights on current events, or share success stories with the media. This can help to build a positive reputation and increase brand awareness among the general public and target audience.


  • You can use marketing tactics to drive traffic to your job postings, such as paid advertising, email marketing, and SEO. Targeted messaging and channels can help attract qualified candidates to job adverts. This improves the likelihood of successful placements.

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Hopefully you now have a better understanding of how PR and recruitment marketing strategies can be used:

  • To build your brand.
  • To attract clients and potential candidates
  • And to increase your revenue.

Both will enable you to build credibility with potential clients. And help them make informed decisions about who they choose as their partner in finding new talent (you!).

While they can be used separately, they can also be combined. So, it's important that you consider where to focus your energies depending on your long and short term goals.

Want some expert help to build out your communications strategy?

Steph KingAuthor: Stephanie King, Managing Director, BlueSky PR

With over fifteen years’ experience in marketing and PR, Steph is a regular speaker at recruitment industry events and webinars. Steph and her team formulate and execute media relations, content and social media strategies for recruitment agencies, suppliers to the industry and talent management companies, working with recognised names including The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) and AMS (formerly Alexander Mann Solutions). 

How to create a PR and marketing strategy that works

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