Many businesses believe that advertising and public relations play the same role for their business and if they do advertising they don’t need PR, and vice versa.
However, PR and advertising have completely different roles for your business, which are important to understand to help you reach your target market and achieve your business objectives.
Advertising is creating paid announcements to be promoted through different types of media including online, print, TV, out-of-home and radio.
PR is great for building a connection with your audience and promoting your key messages, consumers are more likely to believe and take note of something written in an article, rather than an advertisement that has been paid for.
Here are the top seven differences between advertising and PR.
Paid vs. free
Advertising: you pay for an advertisement to be placed in the media.
PR: your PR agency develops strategies for you to gain publicity in the media. PR professionals develop a range of tactics to gain positive media attention for your brand, which is very effective at increasing your target audience’s brand awareness.
Advertising: you have control over the content of your advertisement including where and when it will be seen in the media.
PR: you have less control of your coverage in the media. Once you send a story idea to a journalist they have control over it. They can choose to change your story idea or not even publish it at all. However, your PR agency should offer you media training so you know how to control an interview and make the most of any media opportunities they create for you.
Duration of coverage
Advertising: You can pay for an advertisement to be shown in the media as many times as your budget allows.
PR: An advantage of PR is that you can send a story idea to a number of journalists who will then publish the story in different ways. This allows your target audience to see the information differently in many mediums, which may be more effective at reinforcing the message.
Advertising: Advertisements have less credibility than the coverage gained by PR. When your target audience see’s an advertisement they know it has been bought by a company trying to sell them something.
PR: PR provides information and newsworthy stories to a journalist so they can write an article about your product or business, if they chose to. An article written by a journalist will be presented in an unbiased manner and contains the journalist’s third-party endorsement. This means your target audience may view the article with more credibility than an advertisement because it is not blatantly selling them something. PR can be a very powerful tool because it can help shape public opinion.
Advertising and PR are similar in that they both want to convey a message to their client’s target audience. However they convey that message differently and in different mediums.
Advertising: your company can pay for an advertisement to be placed directly in the media your target audience is interested in, whether this is women’s magazines, TV or drive-time radio.
PR: PR professionals can communicate your message to a target audience in a variety of channels. The key to reaching a target audience is to place your message in the channel that your target audience is likely to use. For example; the channel could be an article in a company newsletter, a letter to local residents, an email to specific people, a blog post, a tweet, an article by a journalist and much more. This means that PR may be more effective than advertising because it can help your business reach their target audience in a variety of mediums.
As a business you need to consider the differences between advertising and PR to determine which approach is the best for your message. The approach you choose will also depend on the type of message you want to communicate.
The most powerful method of communication is when advertising and PR are used together as part of a strategic integrated communication campaign.
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Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.