PR vs Advertising

There is a common misconception that public relations is “free advertising.” Simply put, the practice of public relations is the cultivation of relationships – between you, the media, and other public audiences. Advertising at its most basic level is about sharing information about a product or service in order to induce people to buy or use it.

Both public relations and advertising are important to a company’s growth, but it’s important to understand the differences and how public relations can make a long-lasting impact for your organization.

Many modern brands – especially brands who differentiate themselves as socially responsible or technologically innovative – understand the value of PR. Advertising certainly has a prominent role in a company’s marketing mix, but it should not be the only tool used. In our modern world, consumers like to know more about the brands they buy, which speaks directly to public relations efforts.

A highly-effective PR campaign can be implemented for a fraction of a traditional advertising spend. For example, through cost-effective PR efforts, your company might be able to receive positive coverage in the local newspaper or on TV. To place an advertisement that would have a similar impact might cost ten times as much.

The best thing about advertising is the company has complete control. You control exactly what’s being said and when. You can stop the advertising at any point – or add to it. PR is different. You share your messages with your audiences and then it’s up to those audiences to carry those messages into the marketplace. For example, let’s say your company is opening a new factory and hiring 100 people. If you share that with a reporter, it’s then up to the reporter to share that information with his or her readers.

Advertising and PR can work hand-in-hand. Tucker/Hall partners with some of the best advertising agencies in the business to create comprehensive and effective communications and advertising plans.

To learn more about the integration of PR and advertising, read more from Tucker/Hall’s Resources.