Public relations (PR) involves a variety of programs designed to maintain or enhance a food truck’s image, menu and services it provides. Successful implementation of an effective public relations strategy can be a critical component to any food truck marketing plan.

Most vendors find it difficult to differentiating marketing from public relations. Despite the confusion, there are important differences between marketing and public relations. Today we want to show the primary differences.

5 Differences Between Public Relations And Marketing


In their simplest form, marketing focuses on products and services while the goal of public relations is to focus on relationships.


Both marketing and PR are food truck management functions. The two serve different purposes. Marketing is a function that directly contributes to a vendor’s bottom line. Public relations is a function that indirectly supports an food truck’s goals and objectives.


Marketing targets the customer. Public relations target a range of stakeholder to meet goals that support a food truck’s objectives. Examples of these stakeholders include customers, the media, employees, suppliers, the community, or political leaders.

Carryover benefits

Public relations contribute to a food truck’s success by building and maintaining a positive social, business and political environment. Studies show a customer’s favorable perception shaped by positive, well-placed news coverage benefits a business’s marketing and price promotion strategy. This type of carryover benefits do not show up with other marketing tactics.

Paid, earned and owned media

  • Paid media. Food trucks that use this marketing tactic typically do it through print or online advertising. Paid media plays a major role in marketing campaign and will consume the bulk of most marketing budgets.
  • Owned media. This would include your food truck’s website, blog, Facebook and Twitter profiles.
  • Earned media. Free or earned media should be part of every food truck’s growth strategy. Earned media is published through third parties such as bloggers and journalists. It also includes word-of-mouth promotion through social media. Earned media is perceived as more credible than paid media because of it is usually not paid for and comes from someone other than the vendor. On the downside, free media is not something you have control over. This means that a vendor cannot affect a story’s slant. Free media offers a cost effective way to win new customers.

Similar to the basic goals of marketing, effective public relations seek to communicate information to:

  • Launch new menu items and services.
  • Re-position an existing menu item or service.
  • Create or increase interest in a product, service, or your food truck brand.
  • Influence specific consumer groups.
  • Defend products or services that have suffered from negative press or perception.
  • Enhance the food truck’s overall image.

The result of an effective PR strategy is to generate additional revenue through greater awareness and information for the products and services a food truck offers.

RELATED: PR Basics For Food Truck Owners

The Bottom Line

Both marketing and PR play huge roles in accomplishing a food truck’s goals and objectives. Smart vendors need to learn and integrate marketing and public relations into their growth strategies to better achieve success.

How do you use public relations into your food truck business? Share your tips in the comment section below or on social media. Facebook | Twitter