Why You Should Be Investing in Public Relations Strategies

The lines between public relations and advertising can often become blurred, so it’s crucial for business owners to know the differences between these two complementary disciplines. Learn to focus your organization’s efforts into the right channel, and you’ll get better results. 

For many people outside of the realm of public relations and advertising industries, the lines between the two are very blurred. However, there are significant differences between public relations and advertising in terms of credibility, return on investment, and overall value. Knowing which to focus your efforts on is the key to achieving long-term success for your brand. So, what is the difference between public relations and advertising?

PR vs. Advertising

The most straightforward difference between these two industries is that PR is earned media while advertising stems from the realm of paid media. Public relations involves an in-depth strategy and PR plan. Whenever you see an article about a new product, campaign, or grand opening, there’s a high chance that the result of that story originated from public relations strategies. Whenever you see an ad, it’s the result of the advertiser buying space.

Public relations experts are born storytellers. These professionals spend their time crafting stories that highlight a brand’s history, product, and accomplishments in a positive light. PR experts will also utilize speaking engagements and social media to tell a brand’s story. 

Jobs in the journalism market continue to dwindle. As a result, more and more journalists are expected to wear many hats, so they have less time to search for story ideas and expert sources. Often, journalists will rely on pitches coming in from PR professionals to come up with timely and innovative story ideas.  Journalists will reach out to PR professionals who can offer relevant sources who can speak about a particular industry or service highlighted in a story. 

On the other hand, advertising is a marketing tactic that utilizes paid messages to influence the public. In today’s world, ads come through a variety of mediums, including TV, the Internet, email, radio, and print. Typically, the main goal of an advertisement is to persuade an individual to buy a product or service. 

Which is More Valuable?

Public relations strategies can help your brand attain real and reliable results. PR efforts are more effective than advertising because an article in an established publication will appear more credible to the public than a paid media placement. Quite simply, people believe other people. This higher level of trust is because of the third party — the journalist — vetting the information. While it may be easier to pay for an ad in the newspaper, over the long run PR efforts will consistently yield a far higher return on investment. Another bonus? Media placements can be reused and repurposed in ways that will give your brand even more coverage. After an article is published, your organization can share the story on all of your social media platforms. Pro tip: remember to tag the news outlet and relevant sources to get even more free exposure. Resharing PR stories will not only drive even more traffic to the story but also create more awareness in your brand. That’s a win/win situation!

Need a Hand?

Want to generate more interest in your brand? Our team of public relations professionals can make sure your story gets noticed.