Is Public Relations More Effective than Advertising?

Advertising vs PR

Advertising and PR are both pillars within the media industry, but for different reasons. Advertisements are created with the intent of selling something – it’s the paid aspect of the media. Whereas a PR professional seeks to generate awareness and credibility for a brand, and establish connections and build rapport among media moguls, thereby earning the media’s attention. It’s no surprise then that Helen Woodward’s famous words still ring true today – “advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”

Below are three key reasons as to why public relations far outweighs advertisements in terms of effectiveness to any brand’s current marketing strategy.  

What is PublicityCredibility

The way an audience perceives what they are watching, reading or hearing plays an important role in a brand’s overall credibility. Indeed, when someone sees an ad on television or in a magazine, they are very aware that it was placed there through paid efforts. Most will walk away from their television during a “commercial break,” or flip carelessly past the advertisement sections in whatever magazine they’re reading, simply because there is a level of skepticism, indifference and monotony that is associated with ads.

However, when a person or brand is featured in the media, there’s an instant credibility factor and a boost in the brand’s awareness and trustworthiness. Media professionals are not obligated to feature you on their segments, which is why when someone is carefully selected to be interviewed, to have a Q&A or to have a write-up created about their company, it’s an instant lift in authority. This is something than advertisements cannot bring about, and it’s not something that can be bought through ad space.    

Reach & Investment

Advertisements are expensive. Particularly if you want prime retail spots on leading TV channels or in major publications. And once the ad runs, that’s it. You would have to continue to pay to run additional advertisements and hit a greater reach. In addition, most may ignore the ad message on the screen, because they are looking for the news article itself, and not what you are trying to sell them.

However, if your PR firm sends out one press release to various media outlets, the reach is already immense. Once that story gets picked up – particularly if by a national TV network – your reach will reach millions, as opposed to thousands. Additionally, if the feature was online in a digital newspaper or magazine, it will remain there for years to come – allowing you countless opportunities to share, post, link and utilize to your advantage. Even if you only received one placement on traditional media, both the read and return on investment from PR would far surpass that of an advertisement.    

Making Connections with PRLong-Term Connections

Part of any good PR strategy is making professional connections and building rapport with media experts. When you do one or two segments on television, and your name starts getting out there, you will be more likely to get invited back to do more live interviews and features in the future. You will start to build your own relationships with broadcasters, influencers, reporters and anchors. This level of networking cannot be brought about through advertised efforts.

If you’re looking to get your name out into the world through strategic media placements on traditional broadcast – television, print, radio, podcast and digital – then we invite you to reach out to Pace Public Relations. Our team of PR gurus are happy to discuss a PR strategy specifically designed for your brand and help you discover the amazing benefits of having a public relations team at your company’s side.

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