PR versus Advertising

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PR versus advertising

People often struggle with the question of whether to spend their money on PR or advertising. A fair question for any new business owner to ask, but only if that person doesn’t understand the value of PR.

So what’s the difference between the two?

To put it simply, the saying goes “advertising you pay for, but public relations you pray for“.

Advertising raises awareness of your brand and is you telling the world that your business is great, which of course you would say as you want your business to succeed. Advertising is guaranteed exposure for your brand/business but it’s coming from you, the business, so will the the message by fully trusted by your target audience?

Or does it come with a little bias? ..of course it does!

PR on the other hand is a message coming from the media, the journalists, the celebrities, and the influencers who have no affiliation with your business or brand. When they say your brand or your business is great, it is a much more credible message and therefore worth much more than advertising, three times more in fact (this is the multiplier that the PR industry uses as standard when evaluating PR coverage).

Think of it from the consumer’s point of view, when the reader sees an advert, do they take much notice of it?

Does today’s savvy consumer believe everything the advert says or are they aware that the advert is paid for by the owner and therefore the information carries bias? On the other hand when the reader reads a newspaper article or a review by a journalist, who has no connection with the brand or business, obviously this message is more believable.

PR is a way of spreading favourable opinion through credible, non-biased influencers and through endorsements. This type of publicity carries much more weight and longevity than an advert that may, or may not, grab the attention of the reader for a second or two.

This argument for PR may seem like an either/or scenario with advertising but it is not.

Advertising can always play an important part of your marketing mix – it is very unlikely that the media will write about you every week so for frequency of coverage advertising is necessary. When PR complements advertising it adds more value to it because your brands or service are now seen as being more credible and trusted by your target audience.

Edel Cox - FuzionPR can build credibility and trust and it is a lot more cost effective compared to advertising, so the next time you are splitting your budget spend between advertising and PR get that balance right!

Edel Cox is a PR Consultant with Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

 

 

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One Response to “PR versus Advertising”

  1. You get what you pay for – maybe you get a lot less? | Greg Canty Fuzion Blog Says:

    […] A savvy customer will believe editorial or an article they read a lot more than an advert – a standard mechanism in the PR industry values media coverage three times more than the equivalent advertising space. (Have a peep at a blog post that our own Edel Cox has written on the topic). […]

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