Advertising vs. Public Relations Explained

Advertising vs. Public Relations Explained

While both advertising and public relations build a brand’s image to reach their target audience, the difference lies in the methods used to accomplish their goalsWhile advertising space is what we call “paid media,” public relations results are earned by providing media outlets with information in the form of engaging pitches, press releases, and visuals that support the proposed story. The following points show some of the differences between the two, and how adding a strong public relations team to your business’s profile can further your brand’s awareness and reputation. 


When deciding whether or not your business should pursue advertising or public relations, first consider your goals. 

Advertising goals are typically to inform the public and new customers of their existence and to generate sales by targeting specific markets. 

Public relations goals revolve around building brand awareness and reputation by creating trust behind your brand. 

Target Audiences:

With advertising, a company can control its message which helps a business establish an identity and a reputation as well as build brand recognition.

Public relations communicates information with journalists to encourage third party coverage. Because the information is coming from a trusted source, it feels more organic, resulting in positive recognition of the company’s image. One of the newest and easiest ways to improve brand awareness is by seeking out relevant influencers, those with a large following in the digital, print, and/or broadcast media, and many personal connections. By utilizing influencer marketing through public relations, a business can engage their audience, build interest in their products and services, and enhance their brand’s voice and image. 


Generally adversiting goals are more short-term in nature and geared towards buying seasons, boosting products with specials deals or discounts or promoting a new product. The team at The PR Boutiqueuses public relations tactics to maintain longstanding, devoted consumer and stakeholder relationships for their clients in the Houston, Texasarea and beyond. 

Many times, this means applying social media management to a business’s public relations mix. Customized reporting and analyticsreports help a client to see how they’re performing in social media circles, and how they can continue to grow their audience base. A targeted channel strategy uses similar graphics, colors, photography, and messages to unify and streamline a business’s brand voice and image. With ongoing content creation and management, a comprehensive public relations plan helps a brand to stay competitive amongst all the players in the digital world while developing the brand’s voice and a platform on which it can engage with its audience.  

Another tactic used in public relations that engages both clients and consumers is event marketing, planning and production. Publicrelations teams sometimes execute events and/or parties to enhance a business’s long-term image and values. By making a good impression with a strategically detailed, impressionable event, invitees are left feeling like they have a stronger, lasting tie to the business’s overall well-being. This can also mean increasing a client’s community involvement, maximizing their charitable and communal partnerships through fundraisers, promotional partnerships, volunteerism, and more. 

Before choosing whether advertising or public relations is right for you, analyze your goals, your budget and what might work best for your target market.