What are the Differences Between PR and Advertising?


 
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What are the Differences Between PR and Advertising?
Josephine, Student (University), South Africa

Hi there, what is the difference between Advertising and Public Relations? Thanks for your help...

 
 
12 Differences between PR and Advertising
Jaap de Jonge (Editor), Editor, Netherlands
There are many differences between Advertising (ADV) and Public Relations (PR). Here are 12 characteristics / distinctions to get you started:
1. CONTROL
   - ADV: you have control over how your message is presented
   - PR: you have no such control
2. COST
   - ADV: paid, expensive
   - PR: free, cheap
3. LIFE SPAN
   - ADV: short, but you can use same message multiple times
   - PR: typically a press release is used only once, but lives forever on the web
4. CONSUMER PERCEPTION
   - ADV: biased, you are selling to me
   - PR: independent, from 'objective' media
5. FOCUS OF CONTENT
   - ADV: creativity
   - PR: news
6. CREATION PROCESS
   - ADV: mainly inside your firm
   - PR: with (outside) media
7. DIRECT TARGETS
   - ADV: your target consumer/audience
   - PR: the editors of the media
8. DESIRABILITY
   - ADV: intentional and positive
   - PR: sometimes forced (e.g. interviews after a calamity) and can be positive or negative
9. STYLE
   - ADV: motivating to buy (buy now!)
   - PR: neutral, informing
10. AIM
   - ADV: sale
   - PR: information, new
11. RESEARCH BASE
   - ADV: marketing research
   - PR: media research
12. PLACEMENT
   - ADV: in the advertising section, 'below the fold'
   - PR: news is important, has priority, 'above the fold'
Of course, for maximum effectiveness of what you are trying to communicate, your marketing programs should always try to combine and incorporate both advertising and public relations. See also the Validity Effect.
Who can add an additional difference between PR and Advertising?
 

 
Advertising is a Component of PR and they are not Comparable
HABIB MOSTAFIZI, CEO, Iran
With due respect to dear Jaap, I think it's not a good question "difference between PR and advertising". Surely, ADV is a part of PR.
Dear editor has assumed PR as a media activity and, I believe this is a part of PR too. In PR you are following promotion and it must be under your control. PR is not free and cheap although, you assume it as a press release. PR is exactly related to consumer exception and so on. So I don't agree with dear editor about PR explanation and am ready for discussion in this field.
Dear Josephine, wish you success in your studies.
 

 
PR versus Advertising
Jaap de Jonge (Editor), Editor, Netherlands
@HABIB MOSTAFIZI: Thank you for disagreeing with me :-)
Surely there are many different definitions / scopes of both advertising and PR. These can differ per company and perhaps also per language and nation. I merely tried to give a general overview of some typical differences as I see them to help Josephine a bit further.
You remain welcome to indicate what you believe are the differences between the 2.
 

   
 

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