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Advantages and disadvantages of Public Relations

The benefits of public relations include:

Influence: Audiences are more likely to trust messages coming from an objective source rather than paid-for advertising messages. It is one of the most credible forms of promotion and can be persuasive.

Reach: A good story can be picked up by several news outlets, exposing your message to a large audience.

Cost-effectiveness: PR can be an economical way to reach a large audience in comparison to paid for advertising media placement, particularly if it is done in-house.

Considered a Credible Form of Promotion: A key part of a PR promotion is to obtain mentions of an organization in independent media outlets (e.g., television, online) as the target market generally views the mention as being more credible since it is not based on payment (i.e., advertisement) but on the media outlet’s judgment of what is newsworthy.

Can Offer More Detail: A well-structured public relations campaign can provide the target market with more detailed information than they receive with other forms of marketing promotion (e.g., details on a special event).

Brand Awareness:

Marketing Public Relations is an important activity to create a strong presence in the mind of consumers and to sell products or services effectively with less advertising.

  • Image Creation
  • Brand Awareness
  • Positive brand image
  • Brand Equity
  • Ultimately overall branding

Information May Spread Quickly: A story mentioning an organization may be quickly picked up by a large number of additional media outlets (e.g., spread rapidly by bloggers and social media).

May Be Lower Cost Than Other Methods: When compared to the direct cost of other promotions, in particular advertising, the return on promotional expense for well-executed PR can be quite high.

Better Reach and awareness:

MPR has high ability of the consumer’s reach and awareness

  • Mass reach
  • Easy way to reach the audience
  • Easy to communicate message directly to masses

Some of the challenges of public relations include:

No direct control: Unlike advertising, you can’t exactly control how your business is portrayed by the media, when your message will appear, and where it will be placed.

No guaranteed results: You may spend time and money on writing a press release, getting suitable photography and speaking with journalists, but you can never guarantee your story will be published. This can result in a poor return-on-investment.

Evaluation: it can be difficult to measure the effectiveness of PR activities. You can count media mentions and published stories, but it’s harder to determine the impact this has on your audience.

Lack of Control Over Message Content: When public relations conveys information to a member of the media (e.g., reporter), the message may be “re-crafted” to fit within media’s content (e.g., news story) with the final message not being precisely what the marketer planned.

May Be Higher Cost Than Other Methods: While a PR campaign has the potential to yield a high return on promotional expense, it also can have the opposite effect (e.g., few attend a presentation by a company-paid spokesperson).

Message May Not Appear at All: When dealing with the media, there is always a chance a PR content item (e.g., TV interview with the company president) will get “bumped” from planned media coverage because of a more critical breaking news story (e.g., earthquake).

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