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The difference between PR and Advertising

November 23, 2015

There’s an old saying:”Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”

This is a quick way to explain the difference between Public Relations and paid for Advertising.  It’s also a good starting point for the general public.  While there are dozens of good articles on this topic most people still don’t know the difference between Advertising and Public Relations.

In short, advertising is paid for media, and public relations is earned. Whether that is through media relations, or selling in products and services through events or as gifts, all these ideas are proven to work.

This means when journalists write product reviews, they carry a lot more weight and credibility than a paid for piece of advertising, as it is backed up by industry professionals.

A recent study from 2014 by Nielsen commissioned by inPowered on the role of content in the consumer decision-making process concluded that PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising.

It’s not difficult to understand why PR carries far more weight than advertising, the fact that it is approved by a third party industry expert is much more believable than a piece of advertising being placed in a magazine by corporate giant who believe they know who their customer is.  

PR is a lot more cost effective compared to advertising, it takes more than one impression for a consumer to recognise your brand, and this will rack up a hefty bill. PR will support social media, and quotes from industry professionals – PR may still cost, but the results are proven.

Nothing hits the news today without a story being created by a journalist or industry expert, before being passed onto TV, or print. PR is just another way of ‘gift wrapping and selling a story’.

Find out here how PR and Marketing can help drive your company or brand forward. Call 01260 277674 today or email