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Public Relations Vs Advertising

Public Relations Vs Advertising

A lot of establishments like to believe that advertising and public relations (PR) play the same role for their business and if they engage in advertising, they do not require PR.

In actuality, these two have completely different roles for any business which are important to understand in order to help your reach audience and attain those set business objectives.

Advertising is simply creating paid announcements to be promoted through various types of media which could be online, print, out-of-home, TV and radio. Public Relation on the other hand, refers to any strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and the public.

Public Relation is a great avenue to building a connection with your audience and promoting your key messages.

Your target markets are more likely to believe and take note of something written in an article, rather than an advertisement that has been paid for.

Below are the key differences between Public Relations and Advertising

  • Message Control

In advertising, there is a control over the content of your advertisement including where and when it will be seen in any form of medium you choose to adopt. Unlike in Public Relation where there is less control of coverage in the media.

Whenever you send a story idea to a journalist for publication, they have control over it. The journalist can choose to change your story idea or not even publish it at all.

The Public Relations agency should also offer you media training so you know how to control an interview and make the most of any media opportunities available to you.

  • Paid vs Free

When it comes to advertising, a business pays for an ad space which is usually expensive. In event you choose to run just one ad probably because of its cost, it will not do much for your business unless you run the ad for at least once a month over an extended period of time.

But on the other hand, the responsibility of a Public Relation agency is to get free publicity for a business through press releases, media pitches and good relationships with the media agencies.

The professionals are responsible for developing a range of tactics to gain positive media attention for your brand, which in turn is very effective in increasing your brand awareness.

It is worthy of note that an article in a print medium provides third-party endorsement and credibility for your product or service. Therefore, the product or service is positioned as part of a trend or human interest story, other than a product promotion. Here, media placement is usually earned.

  • Creative Vs Nose for News

An ad uses very descriptive language to call to action. It is a clever campaign that stirs and motivates customers to buy a product. It uses different media such as commercials, Facebook ads, print ads amongst others that can incorporate interactivity and calls to action.

In other to create slogans that will make an impression and stick with people for years to come and even have children reciting the jingle, you could employ the services of a copy writer.

A lot of businesses leave their campaigns solely in the hands of advertising agencies that have a professional understanding as regards the online advertising space when compared to an in-house marketing team. But this is mostly dependent on the financial capabilities of such businesses.

Public Relation requires a special kind of creativity. Here, the professional is searching for news, for different angles behind every events and trends, constantly seeking events and reading articles and searching websites related to a client’s industry. The professional places himself in the journalist’s shoes and asks questions like: is the client doing something new and different? Is this trending? Why should anyone bother or care? Something you do must be able to capture the attention of the journalist. You can do this by having a ‘news hook’.

  • 10- Second Spot vs Forever on the internet

In Advertising, an ad has a longer shelf-life due to its creativity and mode of delivery but immediately then ad runs, that shelf-life expires. Professionals in marketing agree that seeing an ad for a couple of seconds online has an impact on the audience because the audience is still seeing it but, once it runs, it is over.

In public relation, any article published on the internet, tweeted or even a Facebook post remains forever. When an article gets published in a particular newspaper, magazine or on a television station, it will come up in a variety of search engines.

An additional benefit of public relations is that immediately a write up hits the internet, it can easily be accessed by journalists searching for anything under your niche of business.

  • Message Believability vs Message Credibility

When you pay for an ad, there is liberty to say exactly what you want and most times, it makes consumers skeptical about the message because they are aware that you have paid for it.

With public relations, if you give a journalist any idea about your business and he/she decides to run with it, there is no control over what eventually gets published. But a professional who has your interest at heart will look for every avenue to increase positive publicity for you brand.

  • Marketing Research vs Media Research

When you engage in advertising, it is based on demographics and market research. Then d professional will need to research on the right audience and the right medium to place the advert in. Failure to carry out research will lead to gross waste/misappropriation of the fund allocated for the ad because it will not yield positive results.

In public relation the psychographics, demographics and market research are important too but what is more important is in knowing the publications available in a particular industry, which journalists cover a particular beat you are pitching amongst others. This has been made possible and easy with the internet. Media research becomes necessary if you must keep abreast of all these information and if you must score a placement.



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