Differences Between Advertising and Public Relations Advertising vs. public relations, these two industries are very different even though they’re commonly confused as being one and the same. The following ten properties just scratch the surface of the many differences between advertising and public relations. 1. Paid Vs Free Coverage * Advertising: The company pays for ad space. You know exactly when that ad will air or be published. For Example: Infosys gives an ad in The Hindu on Wednesdays in the Opportunities column.
So it has the liberty and control to opt whether they want to give the ad on a particular Wednesday or not depending on their requirement. * Public Relations: Your job is to get free publicity for the company. From news conferences to press releases, you’re focused on getting free media exposure for the company and its products/services. For Example: Tata Nano is the best example of this. Till now Nano was not advertised and all its publicity is through PR.
2. Creative Control Vs. No Control * Advertising:
Since you’re paying for the space, you have creative control on what goes into that ad. Any feature of the ad can be designed according to the way you want to portray the image of your company. For Example: Close-up portrays a youthful image through its advertisements, whereas Cadbury (which earlier had largely targeted the youth) has shifted its focus and now projects its chocolate as something for the whole family to enjoy during times of rejoicing. * Public Relations: You have no control over how the media presents (or misrepresents) information about your organization.
For Example: Reliance did not have a control over the news which was published regarding the conflict between Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani and had to pay for it in form of loss in the share price (initially). 3. Shelf Life * Advertising: Since you pay for the space, you can run your ads over and over for as long as your budget allows. An ad generally has a longer shelf life than one press release. * Public Relations: You generally submit a press release about a new product once.
You only submit a press release about a news conference once. The PR exposure you receive is only circulated once. An editor won’t publish your same press release three or four times in their magazine. 4. Wise Consumers * Advertising: Consumers know when they’re reading an advertisement they’re trying to be sold a product or service. The consumer understands that we have paid to present our selling message to him or her, and unfortunately, the consumer often views the selling message very guardedly. * Public Relations:
When someone reads a third-party article written about your product or views coverage of your event on TV, they’re seeing something you didn’t pay for and view it differently than they do paid advertising. Where we can generate some sort of third-party ‘endorsement’ by independent media sources, we can create great credibility for our clients’ products or services. 5. Creativity * Advertising: In advertising, you get to exercise your creativity in creating new ad campaigns and materials. Some jingles in the ad have a long bonding with the product. Few Examples:
Surf comes with a series of new ads from time to time. Britannia’s jingle is well remembered and is branded even in its website. * Public Relations: In public relations, you have to have a nose for news and be able to generate buzz through that news. You exercise your creativity, to an extent, in the way you search for new news to release to the media. For Example: Apple iPhone is an example of this. Apple created a huge buzz in the market exercising creativity to and extend and the result was a huge demand for the Iphone much before its release date. 6.
Target Audience or Hooked Editor * Advertising: You’re looking for your target audience and advertising accordingly. You wouldn’t advertise a women’s TV network in a male-oriented sports magazine. * Public Relations: You must have an angle and hook editors to get them to use info for an article, to run a press release or to cover your event. . 7. Special Events * Advertising: If your company sponsors an event, you wouldn’t want to take out an ad giving yourself a pat on the back for being such a great company. This is where your PR department steps in. Public Relations: If you’re sponsoring an event, you can send out a press release and the media might pick it up. They may publish the information or cover the event. 8. Writing Style * Advertising: Buy this product! Act now! Call today! These are all things you can say in an advertisement. You want to use those buzz words to motivate people to buy your product. * Public Relations: You’re strictly writing in a no-nonsense news format. Any blatant commercial messages in your communications are disregarded by the media.