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Both advertising and PR are concerned with marketing the brand, although they are two entirely different industries. In simple words, the company pays for ad space or ad time and decides when it will air or be published, whereas PR is free media exposure using press releases, press conferences and other means.

Indeed, both PR and advertising aim at communicating specific messages to the target audience. The difference is that in the case of an ad, the consumers know they are being aggressively encouraged to buy a product or service irrespective of its benefit, and hence, they may not entirely trust the information, while on the other hand, when they read an article or view an event about your product, they know they are seeing something the company did not pay for. In the latter case, the communicated information enjoys more credibility as it has third-party endorsement i.e. it was picked up by the news media because it was thought to be true or beneficial for the audience. Therefore, media earned via PR efforts has higher consumer trust than the paid media coverage of advertising.

In other words, companies use advertising to directly tell people what they are selling or doing, whereas in PR, they let someone else do it for them.

In the digital world, people hate ads. They either block or ignore promotional sponsored content. PR content, on the other hand, can be meaningful and informative, bringing true value to the readers.

How Can you decide Between Both?

  1. If you are considering a long-term investment into your corporate identity and would like to get your target audience talking about you, instead of a quick hit, PR is the way to go.

  2. Controlling your message and even the perception towards your message require you to create a PR strategy that will enable you to achieve such an objective.

  3. If you desire establishing a direct relationship with the target audience PR will serve you much more than advertising.

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