The primary motive of any business is profit maximisation, and it can only be achieved by increasing sales. The firms apply many strategies, tactics, tools, plans to gain maximum customer attention and grab a competitive position in the market. The firms can achieve a good position in the market by creating a good image of the company and the products and services offered by it. Advertising and Public Relations are the two important tools, used for this purpose that comes under the marketing umbrella. Due to some similar traits, people have confusion in understanding the difference between advertising and public relation, but as per an old saying ‘advertising pays, public relation persuades’.
Content: Public Relation Vs Advertising
|Basis for Comparison||Advertising||Public Relations|
|Meaning||A technique of drawing public attention to products or services, mainly through paid announcements, is called Advertising.||Public Relations is a practice of strategic communication that aims at building mutually beneficial relationship between the company and the public.|
|Communication||One way||Two way|
|Focuses on||Promotion of product or services, with an aim to induce the intended audience to buy.||Maintaining a positive image of the company in the media.|
|Control||The company has full control over the ad.||The company can pitch the story, but has no control over, how media uses or does not uses at all.|
|Published||As long as you are willing to pay for.||Only once|
Definition of Advertising
Advertising is described as a paid, non-personal, one way public communication that draws public communication towards a product, service, company, or any other thing through various communication channels, to inform, influence and instigates the target audience to respond in the manner as desired by the advertiser.
Advertising can be done through print ads, radio or television ads, billboards, flyers, commercials, internet banner ads, direct mails and so on. The advertiser has exclusive control over what, how and when the ad will be aired or published. Moreover, the ad will run as long as the advertiser’s budget allows.
As advertising is a prominent marketing tool, it is always present, no matter the people are aware of it or not. Nowadays, advertising has not left a single medium to spread the message to the target audience.
Definition of Public Relations
Public Relations is a strategic communication tool that uses different channels, to cultivate favourable relations for the company. It is a practice of building a positive image or reputation of the company in the eyes of the public by telling or displaying the company’s products or services, in the form of featured stories or articles through print or broadcast media. It aims at building a trust-based relationship between the brand and its customer, mainly through media exposure and coverage.
Public Relations can be called as non-paid publicity earned by the company through its goodwill, word of mouth, etc. The tactics used in public relations are publicity, social media, press releases, press conferences, interviews, crisis management, featured stories, speeches, news releases.
Key Differences Between Advertising and Public Relations
The difference between advertising and public relations can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:
- Advertising is a technique of drawing public attention to products or services, mainly through paid announcements. Public Relations is a practice of strategic communication that aims at building a mutually beneficial relationship between the company and the public.
- Advertising is a purchased or paid media, whereas public relations is an earned media.
- Advertising is a monologue activity. Conversely, public relation is a two way communication process, wherein the company listens and responds to the public.
- Advertising is done to promote product or services, with an aim to induce the intended audience to buy. On the other hand, public relations aims at maintaining a positive image of the company in the media.
- In advertising, the advertiser has full control over the ad, i.e. when, how and what will be displayed to the people. As opposed to public relation, where the company can pitch the story, but has no control over, how media uses or does not use at all.
- In advertising, the placement of the ad is guaranteed, but there is no such guarantee of placement in case of public relations.
- In advertising, the ad is published or aired as long as you are willing to pay for. On the contrary, in the case of public relation, the story is published only once.
- Credibility is higher in public relations than in advertising because in the case of advertising savvy consumers, know that it’s just an ad and do not believe easily, and so they remain sceptical. Unlike Public Relations where third party validation improves the credibility.
Advertising and Public Relations both use communication channels to inform and influence the general public. While advertising is a highly expensive marketing tool, because it can reach a large number of people at the same time. Public Relations is free of cost implied endorsement along with validation of the third party.