Many people commonly confuse between Pr and Advertising, and it is understandable as they are pretty similar. Both advertising and PR agencies help brands connect with their target audience and market their client’s services or products. Both of them are strategic marketing agencies and offer services that may overlap sometimes. However, the differences between the two are evident. Let’s discuss how PR and Advertising agencies differ from one another.
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Paid & Free Service
One of the most prominent differences between the two agencies is the concept of paid and free marketing. While you have to pay to get an ad placed in your brands’ name, a PR agency comes up with different strategies to improve the outlook of your brand.
Advertising agencies, film adverts, and then buy screen-time or billboards to make your advertisements visible to the public. Contrary to this, a PR agency uses strategic planning to make most of the free opportunities and gain the attention of the media and general public. Their services yield more organic results as their marketing does not stem from the brand itself but other sources.
Control On Creativity
Since the advertisement comes from a brand, it focuses on the exact message the brand wants to showcase. This allows the brand to filter exactly what they want the public to perceive of their brand. This control helps keep things in line, and the audience is not left to their devices when coming up with opinions about the brand.
However, when it comes to public relations, the PR agency is not wholly controlling what message is being put forward. They work hard from their end by coming up with different story ideas and media opportunities. But it is not certain that the news outlet would agree to their news pitch. It is very common for them to either change the idea of your news story or refuse to publish it at all.
Duration Of Publicity
As discussed earlier, advertisements are paid and can be run for as long as you keep paying. Once you stop paying, the advertisement will stop too. You will be able to run promotions depending on how long your budget can afford it.
On the contrary, Public relation is a free venture meaning that your PR agency can keep on reaching out to media outlets and requesting them to feature you. This is not a paid service, so you can do it as many times as you want. Suppose you are successfully able to be featured on different media outlets. In that case, your customer reach will be expansive, and the general public will trust your brand more as they are getting the propagated information from a credible source. And most importantly, the information of your brand or service will stay for a lot longer in the media and might even be there forever if searched.
For instance, if you get a news story dedicated to you, it will still exist in the archives of the newspaper you were featured in.
When it comes to which stream is more dependable, then Public relations surely takes the cake. It is arguably the most reliable as the information presented to the audience comes from a proper channel. Public relations officers reach out to journalists asking them to write a news story on you. It depends on them if they accept or decline the offer.
If they accept the offer, a journalist will produce an article for your brand that is factual and unbiased. For the audience, such pieces are very reliable as they do not have a salesy intent. This helps the brand mold public opinion without coming off as promotional.
However, when we talk about advertisements, they are a blatant promotion of your product. The audience is lead to believe that since the advertisement has come from your end it obviously will only talk about the positives of your brand or your service.
News Or Advert?
Would you rather trust the news or an advertisement centered on a particular product? It is always going to be the former as news articles are known to be unbiased pieces of writing written by a third party. This increases the credibility of whatever information you put out.
While advertisements are a great tool to give out information about your brand, they might not shape public opinion the way you might want. That is the job of a PR agency.
Both t marketing streams have one purpose, which is to spread information about your brand or service. However, the narratives they choose can be vastly different. They might have the same message, but how they convey it and what mediums they use can be very different.
When talking about public relations, there are various channels a public relations officer can use to put your message out there. They decide the medium of message delivery depending on the target audience. For instance, if your brand appeals to the younger demographic, you can reach out to blog writers and request them to feature you in any of their blogs.
In the same manner, if you think about advertising, advertisers can use the power of money and display your advertisements wherever you want them. You can target your audience directly without beating around the bush.
Final Take Away
Choosing between either two options depends solely on what you want your audience to see. If you want to inform them about the latest product in an exciting and positive way, choosing an advertising agency would be ideal.
However, if you want to shape the public’s opinion, make them like you, and what you do without being outwardly promotional, you must go for a Public relations agency. You can find several pr firms in San Francisco. Therefore, it would be best to do your research, hold a meeting with, and ask them to create a strategy for you. This will help you decide which agency would be the best fit for your brand.