What is the main difference between public relations and advertising? If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you already know they’re both marketing tactics and want to know more. But how do they differ? Are PR and advertising two sides of the same coin? Do they achieve different objectives? We’ll answer all of these questions, and more, in this article.
The difference between public relations and advertising is advertising is a “paid media” way to promote the products or services of a companywhere as Public Relations is an “earned media” way to promote the services of a brand. The main difference is that with PR, there is no direct exchange of money. You don’t pay a media channel or publication for coverage. PR is all about building relationships, and the use of this strategy can lead to coverage that has a positive impact on your business. Advertising, on the other hand, is a direct exchange of money for advertising space or time. Your payment buys the opportunity to promote your brand in front of your target audience. The main difference between PR and advertising is that PR is not a paid media strategy. The goal is to create positive relationships, which can lead to free coverage for your business. With advertising, you are paying for a specific amount of exposure for your product or service.
In order to understand better the difference between public relations and advertising, we need to understand their major roles as mentioned below.
Overall the difference between public relations and advertising is, PR is a long-term strategy, whereas advertising is a short-term tactic. PR involves a lot of relationship building. It’s not uncommon for PR pros to spend weeks or even months building relationships with journalists and other influencers. PR pros might give away free products or services, or they might invite journalists and other influencers to attend conferences or other events. PR pros also keep journalists and other influencers up-to-date with information about their brands and products. Whereas, advertising is a very short-term strategy. Companies often have their ads produced and placed within a week. Because ads are often short, they are often more effective at changing a potential customer’s behaviour than PR. An ad can make people feel the urge to act (e.g. “Buy now!”). An ad can also elicit an emotional response (e.g. “This product is great!”). An ad can also be used to inform consumers (e.g. “This product is made in America”). It is necessary for students to know the difference between public relations and advertising in order to pursue their career in either of the profession. There is no doubt that both PR and advertising are marketing tactics worth considering for any business. The most important thing is to choose the one that works best for your business.