Public relations can be complicated at the best of times. Kknowing where to start with a PR campaign can be daunting to those unfamiliar with what’s required. PR can also be mistaken for advertising (and vice-versa) to those who don’t quite understand the difference.
In this post we’ll look at the difference between advertising and PR and why, before you commence any marketing activity it is essential to know which method (or indeed a combination) will suit your business.
The main difference between advertising and PR is that, in simple terms advertising is a “paid for statement” where PR works to generate buzz (or “free publicity” if you will) through a variety of outlets.
Some would argue an advertisment (depending on the amount of money you have to spend and length of advertising time) has a longer shelf-life than that of a single press-release.
The differences are many – but used together advertising and PR has the potential to generate a significant buzz for your business.
Which is why as a business owner or someone in charge of marketing you need to do your research first and investigate what your company needs.
Is it a story that needs to be told?
Do you need to promote a new shop-front opening?
Is it a sale that’s happening in a month?
Has your business reached a significant milestone?
For the above it can be argued that a PR campaign would suit examples one and three and advertising for two and four. In all four examples certainly a combination of PR and advertising could be even more effective.
An advertisement for a sale would certainly be better than trying to “pitch” a story to a journalist about sale, unless of course it’s about Marilyn Monroe’s dress!
Compared to a story about the business – that might involve an accomplishment, award nomination or donation to local community -which all “suits” PR angles.
It’s all about understanding what you want to say about your business and the best way to say it.
Within any comprehensive marketing campaign there should be allowances for both advertising AND PR. Most agencies will appreciate that not all budgets extend that far and should be able to provide some guidance or suggestions to get you started.
Pursuit Communications can help clarify your marketing business needs and point you in the right direction, so you know where to start!
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