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Difference Between Advertising & Public Relations

Journalism
Typography

Some people confuse advertising with Public Relations. But there are many differences between Advertising and Public Relations. Most important differences are as follows;

Paid Space or Free Coverage:

Advertising:

In advertising, individual/company has to pay for the ad space. This is usually expensive as you can advertise until your budget allows. To remain in public’s mind, you need to run your advertisements at least once a month.

Public Relations:

PR is lucky in a sense that with it, you get free publicity through press release, third party endorsements, conference etc. The only thing you need to do is to maintain good relations with media. An article written in favor by third party can have a very good impact on your profile/campaign.

Controlled Message Vs Influenced Message:

Advertising:

In advertising you have full control over the message content as you have paid for it. You can say whatever you want to convince the customer but the negative point is that the consumer has already a biased approach towards ads, as they know that ads always show good points and not the negative one.

Public Relations:

In PR, you do not have control over the message as it depends on media how do they represent your message however, if you have good relations in media and know how to enhance chances of positive publicity, then you can influence the message to a larger extent.

Shelf Life—Time that a product can maintain freshness on a shelf:

Regarding the shelf life, experts have mixed opinions. Some are of the view that ads have a longer shelf life and other say PR have a longer shelf life depending upon the medium they are represented in.

Advertising:

You can run your ad as long as your budget allows therefore, one can say that it has a longer shelf life. But the opponents argue that once the ad runs, its shelf life expires. It totally depends on your budget and medium. If you advertise it regularly then it has a longer shelf life. Similarly if one is watching a movie on a cd or dvd and he forwards the ads, still it has an impact on his mind because he can see it.

Public Relations:

It is a fact that you can release a press release about a product once and editor would not publish the same press release again and again. Therefore, its shelf life is little as compared to advertising. But on the other side, if you are looking for an article or something, then it has a longer shelf life because of the internet. Most of the newspapers have their “e-paper” edition and they maintain archive of the articles/news published. Therefore one can easily find it whenever he wants through the various search engines like google, bing etc.

Customer Perception:

Advertising:

Customer watches our ads with a guarded approach as he knows we’ve paid for these ads and we are only showing the positive side of it.

Public Relations:

As said before, in PR third party endorsements are of extreme importance as it promotes your positive image by a person which is not related to your business or something. Column writers have a huge role in this regard.

Creative vs. Nose for News:

Advertising:

Good ads always use colors, graphics, buzz words/call to action. A good catchy line or a good slogan ay remain in the minds of people for a long time e.g. “Service shoes for everyone”, “Zong-sub keh do”, “lipton-a sip of inspiration” etc.

Public Relations:

PR usually finds ways to create buzz through the news. It analyzes various events, articles, trends, and internet. After that, the PR department decides its course of action regarding clients interest area.

Marketing Research vs. Media Research:

Advertising:

Advertising involves extensive market research and then targets its audience at the right time in the right direction. E.g. products related to kids would be advertised in kids magazine-not in men’s magazine. Similarly, products related to women would be advertised in ladies’ magazine and not in men’s one.

Public Relations:

PR always looks for the reporters that cover the area of its client’s interests. Like if a company is advertising about sports product, PR department would look for reporters in media who cover sports section and may request them to report about it in the media. Use of Facebook and Twitter can also be very effective in this case as they have already made their profiles which are easy to search.

Writing Style:

Advertising:

Advertising always make use of Buzz words which call for an action like order now, rush to the stores, Buy one Get one free etc.

Public Relations:

Use of commercials words is strongly discouraged in press releases or news conferences by media and it does not report such events or releases as it questions its credibility.



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