There is a difference between public affairs and public relations, but not much, or certainly not as much as some would say.
A recent blog by Paige Hawin contrasted the two, saying public affairs is associated with legislation and public policy, while public relations is aimed at connecting with the public to implement a marketing plan. She said PR is often regarded as an extension of advertising.
We disagree. All forms of strategic communications are at their core marketing, or should be. The marketing discipline demands solid research to inform communications strategies, choices of spokespersons, mix of tactics and preferred channels — regardless whether your objective is to change public policy or sell deodorant.