PR vs. Advertising – What’s the difference?

So what’s the difference between public relations and advertising?

The two industries are different even though they’re commonly confused as being the same. Advertising can employ over the top techniques to get attention, while successful PR campaigns require more restraint. Here are some clear differences:

• Public Relations is a field concerned with creating good will and keeping a company/product /person in front of the public and top of mind with the media

• Advertising is paid for with the intent to persuade or remind an audience about a product/service/company with the intent of making a sale.

• Public relations campaigns require a nose for news and a comprehensive understanding of the media. PR agencies exercise creativity by crafting captivating, factually correct stories that educate readers about their client.

• Advertising relies heavily on creativity, catchy slogans and eye-catching graphics to attract consumers’ attention.

• With public relations, you have no control over how the media presents the information you send them in the form of a press release or media alert or if they will even use your information at all

• In advertising, you pay for the space, so you have creative control over what you want to say

• With a strong PR campaign, a third-party article written about a product or coverage of an event on TV or in the print media says they’re seeing something you didn’t pay for with ad dollars and view it differently than they do paid advertising which creates credibility in the marketplace

• Consumers know when they’re reading an advertisement they’re trying to be sold a product or service. Unfortunately, the consumer often views an ad cautiously

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