Advertising vs Public Relations
When you are doing a business, you know that the main motive is to make more profits by generating more sales. To achieve this objective, a businessman has to make use of many different tools and clever ploys to stay ahead of the competition. Business is never going to be a level playing field, and businessmen play their cards so as to stay one up on their competitors. One important rule in business is to create a good perception about the products and services of the company in the minds of customers and society at large. This is achieved through advertising and public relations, the two tools that have many similarities. However, there are also differences that will be talked about in this article. Companies have to make use of a heady mix of both public relations and advertising, to maximize the objectives of the business.
Whether you are watching a movie or a sports program on a television channel, you must have encountered commercials of different products and services. These are small programs made by companies to impress upon the minds of audiences about the high quality of their products and services. Actually, companies buy time slots on TV channels to be allowed to air their advertisements during these programs or movies. This is done to let the message across to as many people as possible to increase the chances of higher sales.
Advertisement is done, not just through electronic media such as television and the internet, but also through hoardings and banners that are placed at vantage points in cities and towns so as to make more and more people see and read about the products and services of a company. Advertisements are also placed inside magazines that have a high circulation so as to promote the products of the company to all those who read these magazines. Newspapers today are filled with advertisements of various companies proclaiming high quality of their products and services. These advertisements cost money to companies but are used as they know that these paid forms of promotion pay rich dividends in terms of higher sales of products and services.
‘Public relations’ refers to the exercise of making use of mass media to communicate the message of the company across the people. Companies hire public relations officers to manage influential media personnel in such a manner that they agree to carry the message of the company in their publications. However, keeping media in good humor is not the only way of conducting public relations as it requires putting in time and effort to impress upon the media of the need to carry a news article about your product or service. Taking part in community services is one way of attracting the attention of the media but then your product or service must be of a nature that helps the community in one way or the other. If the company wins industrial awards and receives them in a function, the news story is obviously covered by the press, and it creates a favorable impression upon the minds of the people reading such a story.
What is the difference between Advertising and Public Relations?
• Advertisement is a paid form of promotion whereas public relations (PR) is more or less a free promotional tool.
• Advertisement buys time slots on electronic media and space in print media, to carry the message across. On the other hand, there is no such buying in public relations.
• Company has control over the content of advertisement whereas it can only hope for a totally positive point of view from the media.
• There is a difference in public perception as public relation is not seen as a deliberate effort of the company whereas public knows that the company has paid for time on electronic media.
• While advertisements can be repeated many times for as long as the company desires, PR releases are a onetime affair only.
• Advertisements can be more creative than PR items.
• There are differences in writing styles of advertisements and PR releases.