Difference between PR and Advertising

Key Difference: PR stands for public relations, and is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public. Advertising, on the other hand, is the act of publicizing a company or its product with the intention of persuading an audience to take or continue some action.

The terms PR and Advertising are often confused, mainly because most people don’t know what the different terms entail. Hence they are often clubbed together, as they are somewhat related.

PR stands for public relations, and is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public. Basically, a PR agent is responsible for what information is shared by the company, and I what way.

There are many times when a company has some news regarding the company, whether it is related to change of management, or development of a new project. This news must be shared with the public, and it should be shared in such a way that the public gets all the information regarding the news and get excited about it at the same time. Figuring out how to this is the job of the PR agent.

Additionally, there are times when a company has some bad news, which when released to the public, will have a negative impact on the company and/or its bottom line, hence the company needs to release this new but in such a way that it minimizes impact. This is where the public relations come in handy.

Advertising, on the other hand, is completely different. It is the act of publicizing a company or its product with the intention of persuading an audience to take or continue some action. This could include buying the company’s product or knowing that the company is viable.

A way to distinguish between the two is to keep in mind that a company usually pays for advertising, whether it a billboard, newspaper or magazine page, or a TV slot for a commercial. Whereas, in PR, the company announces the news, and published a press release, the media picks up the news and article free of cost and publishes it, in order to cover the news.

Comparison between PR and Advertising:

 

Public Relations

Advertising

Description

Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public.

Advertising (or advertizing) is a form of marketing communication used to persuade an audience to take or continue some action, usually with respect to a commercial offering, or political or ideological support.

Type of

Public Relations, Media

Marketing

Purpose

Reputation, Trust

Brand/Awareness, Sales

Types

Press Conferences, Press releases, Annual Reports, Speech, PR Events, Pitches, word of mouth, etc.

Old media including mass media such as newspaper, magazines, television advertisement, radio advertisement, outdoor advertising or direct mail; or new media such as blogs, websites or text messages.

Features

Serious, Informative, Earned media, managing perceptions, etc.

Creative, big productions, controlled message, evoking feelings, etc.

Cost

In PR, the company announces the news, and published a press release; the media picks up the news and article free of cost and publishes it.

A company usually pays for advertising, whether it a billboard, newspaper or magazine page, or a TV slot for a commercial

Control

The media has no obligation to run the story the way the company wants. The company may release one press release detailing all the new products to come, however the new article may mention only one or none at all. The article may also include the writer’s opinions, positive or negative.

The company has complete control over the advertisement; the ad or commercial runs the company’s copy, i.e. exact text.

Shelf Life

Has a longer shelf life, because one the news is run it is saved in perpetuity, especially on the internet.

Once the Ad is run, its shelf life expires, because soon the ad and the feelings it inspired is forgotten.

Bias

The information is less biased, because writers and editors are free to give their honest opinions, good or bad.

The ad is usually biased as it is by the company that is trying to tout and sell its product.

Wise Consumers

Consumers are more likely to believe news and reviews because they know that they are honest and less likely to be influenced by the company.

Consumers these days are wary of advertisements, and don’t actually believe everything the see in an ad.

Skill required

Writing, Media relations, Social Media, Community management, Crisis management, Business, Industry, etc.

Writing, design, Creativity, Presentation, Digital, television,

Image Courtesy: yourstory.com, forbes.com

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