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Difference between public relations and advertising

Advertising

Advertising is described as a paid, non-personal, one-way public communication that draws public communication towards a product, service, company, or any other thing through various communication channels, to inform, influence and instigates the target audience to respond in the manner as desired by the advertiser.

Advertising can be done through print ads, radio or television ads, billboards, flyers, commercials, internet banner ads, direct mails and so on. The advertiser has exclusive control over what, how and when the ad will be aired or published. Moreover, the ad will run as long as the advertiser’s budget allows.

As advertising is a prominent marketing tool, it is always present, no matter the people are aware of it or not. Nowadays, advertising has not left a single medium to spread the message to the target audience.

Public Relations

Public Relations is a strategic communication tool that uses different channels, to cultivate favourable relations for the company. It is a practice of building a positive image or reputation of the company in the eyes of the public by telling or displaying the company’s products or services, in the form of featured stories or articles through print or broadcast media. It aims at building a trust-based relationship between the brand and its customer, mainly through media exposure and coverage.

Public Relations can be called as non-paid publicity earned by the company through its goodwill, word of mouth, etc. The tactics used in public relations are publicity, social media, press releases, press conferences, interviews, crisis management, featured stories, speeches, news releases.

Both advertising and PR help build brands and communicate with target audiences. The most basic difference between them is that advertising space is paid while public relations results are earned through providing the media with information in the form of press releases and pitches.

Both advertising and PR help build brands and communicate with target audiences. The most basic difference between them is that advertising space is paid while public relations results are earned through providing the media with information in the form of press releases and pitches. For example, you have to buy online banner ad space, but you can pitch a story to a news outlet. There is also something called ‘owned’ media which is the content you create for your website, or photos and videos you produce for social media. Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty, and explore some of the other factors that make these two marketing avenues very different:

The difference between PR and advertising infographic

  • Target: While companies and organizations are creating advertisements that primarily target potential customers, PR professionals are hoping to cast a wider net. Publics targeted through PR can be internal or external. They can include employees, investors, customers, the media, legislators, and many more. There is also a new category called influencers, which refers to people who have a lot of connections personally, like celebrities or politicians, or who have a large following on social media.
  • Goals & Objectives: Public relations helps build brand awareness and reputation. The goals and objectives behind a successful PR campaign revolve around the fact that consumers place more trust in and are more likely to do business with a company they know and admire. Advertisements are generated for a specific target market in order to generate sales. They usually focus more on promoting a product or service than on building a reputation.
  • Control: When you buy an advertisement, you decide how the advertisement will look, what it will say, where it will be placed, and when it will run. How much exposure your ad receives is largely dependent on how much money you have to spend. When it comes to PR, and specifically working with the media, you have less control. The media decides how your information is presented in the news and if it will even be covered.
  • Strategy: With advertising, there is a shorter term goal in mind. Ad copy is geared toward specific buying seasons (think holiday shopping), pushing a new product, or promoting special deals to boost sales. PR professionals are always looking at the big picture, delivering meaningful information about their brand to build a sustainable and dedicated base of “brand fans” that includes consumers and other stakeholders.
  • Credibility: Consumers do not believe everything an advertisement tells them. Why? Because whoever is paying for that ad is dictating exactly what the ad says. They’re not going to say “our product is likely to break within a year,” even though that may be the case. Through PR, messages are communicated by a trusted third party, the media, and are far more credible.

Advertising

Public relations

Meaning A technique of drawing public attention to products or services, mainly through paid announcements, is called Advertising. Public Relations is a practice of strategic communication that aims at building mutually beneficial relationship between the company and the public.
Media Purchased Earned
Communication One way Two way
Focuses on Promotion of product or services, with an aim to induce the intended audience to buy. Maintaining a positive image of the company in the media.
Control The company has full control over the ad. The company can pitch the story, but has no control over, how media uses or does not uses at all.
Placement Guaranteed No guarantee
Published As long as you are willing to pay for. Only once
Credibility Less High

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