Any business that hopes to achieve its set goals must focus on a number of indicators – sales being chief among them. In order to achieve desired sales figures, a number of things must be taken care of, one of them is public relations.


Public relation activities are those steps taken by a company to ensure that its image as perceived by the public (not just customers) is as it intends. Of course, no company wants to have a bad image, therefore; PR activity is done to ensure that a business continually projects a good image.


There can be one similarity drawn from here though, both sales and PR activity involve selling something; the former involves selling the company image in the best light possible while the latter sells products. What are the differences between them however?




While PR activity tends to be more intangible, sales are more measurable and can have a dollar value attached to it when the time comes for accounting. In actual fact, the only time good public image is accounted for is in the form of good will during an audit before a company is sold on to a new owner. A dollar value can always be assigned to sales figures while PR activities do not have the pleasure of such. That is why a sales accountant fits well into the equation, but PR perception does not require an accountant to calculate its value.




Having explained what both terms mean to a business, their differences can be summed us as such; while sales drives are always aimed at pushing more units of a particular product onto the market, PR activity does more of a preparatory job in anticipation of sales campaigns. Of course, it is much less difficult for a company that is already liked by the public to sell them products even when prices are rising. When the business has already done its due diligence, and succeeded in creating a trustworthy image, consumers will believe them more.




The difference in factors that affect PR and sales also explains the divergence between them. The factors that affect each of them vary a lot. For example, while tax issues may not directly affect sales, a business that is found guilty of declaring wrong tax figures will almost definitely have a bad image which will require a lot of positive PR activity to correct. A company on the other hand, whose taxes have never been an issue, will be seen as more trustworthy by clients and customers and as such sales will remain high.


Factors like cost of production, change in demand can affect sales, but they do not have any effect on the PR of a business – at least not in the short run.


The accountant will also observe that public image affects sales figures greatly, so both have to be watched closely always.