I can't even tell you how many times I have told someone I'm in PR and they immediately reply back, "oh you're in marketing," or "oh you're in advertising." No dotto brain, I said public relations.
The technical definition for each are:
Marketing: The process of promoting, selling or distributing a product or service; the work of moving goods from producer to purchaser.
Public Relations: Encouraging public understanding and goodwill towards a particular company and its products or services.
In layman's terms:
It's paid (marketing) vs free (public relations)
One of the most gratifying feelings as a PR professional is hitting that perfect PR home run and securing a major placement for your client.
This of course doesn't just happen by wiggling your nose and snapping your fingers, a lot of hard work and effort goes into public relations and media relations. You need to become a source of information, a resource to journalists and you have to do this very tactfully.
What I love about what I do is the challenge ... the challenge of crafting that perfectly written press release or pitch, sending it to your developed and targeted media list, following up on your efforts and hopefully, if you've done everything right and sparked the interest of a journalist - securing a placement!
That's a good day in my book!