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  • Taniya Khan

Know your difference! PR vs Advertising.

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

Public relations is a purposeful practice of overseeing the release and dispersing information between an individual or an organization as well as the audience. Whereas, Advertising is a marketing manoeuvre that involves paying for a space to publicise a product, service, or an idea. The authentic promotional messages are for your brand are called advertisements (AD). The aim of advertising is to reach that audience which is most likely to pay for products or services that your brand offers.

The two of them, Advertising and PR help develop brands and convey the message to the target audiences. Let us now learn the essential differences between the two concepts:

1. Contrast in Cost

Media is paid to place an advertisement on its platform, we know that. A basic difference between PR & AD is that the advertising space is paid while public relations results are achieved through providing the media with the details of the brand in the form of press releases, pitches that create goodwill.

2. Content control

Since you pay for an Ad, you decide the look and feel of your advertisement, what will it convey, where will it be positioned and when will it go live. The amount of exposure your Ad receives is majorly dependent on how much money you have to shell out. Whereas in PR, and particularly working with the media, you have a lesser control. The media decides how your content will be displayed in the news and if it will even be covered.

3. Trustworthiness

Consumers refrain to believe everything an advertisement conveys. You ask why? Simply because the consumers are smart enough to understand whosoever is paying for that ad is dictating its content. Whereas messages conveyed via PR are organic and communicated by a credible third party who is an unbiased observer, the media, primarily.

4. Goals

Public relations helps in building your brand’s reputation and goodwill. The aim behind a remarkable PR campaign encompasses around the fact that consumers believe in and are more likely to do business with a brand they know and admire. Advertisements are placed for a particular target market with a view to generating sales. They generally pay more attention to promoting a product or service than on building an eminence.

5. Plan of action

Advertisements are not aimed to work for a longer period of time. A copy is targeted towards specific shopping seasons e.g. festive seasons, launching a new product, or publicising special offers to accelerate sales. On the other hand, PR professionals are aiming for a greater good, educating people about their brand and thus build a sustainable and dedicated base of “loyal customers” that includes the buying audience and other stakeholders.

An efficacious way to market a brand is to incorporate both Public Relations as well as Advertising into your strategy in a balanced manner. Incorporating both tools enables you to amp up your relation with your target audience.

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