Differences between Advertising and Public Relations

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Differences Between Advertising and Public Relations

Advertising vs. public relations, these two industries are very different even though they're commonly confused as being one and the same. The following ten properties just scratch the surface of the many differences between advertising and public relations.

1. Paid Vs Free Coverage

* Advertising:
The company pays for ad space. You know exactly when that ad will air or be published. For Example:
Infosys gives an ad in The Hindu on Wednesdays in the Opportunities column. So it has the liberty and control to opt whether they want to give the ad on a particular Wednesday or not depending on their requirement.

* Public Relations:
Your job is to get free publicity for the company. From news conferences to press releases, you're focused on getting free media exposure for the company and its products/services. For Example:

Tata Nano is the best example of this. Till now Nano was not advertised and all its publicity is through PR.

2. Creative Control Vs. No Control

* Advertising:
Since you're paying for the space, you have creative control on what goes into that ad. Any feature of the ad can be designed according to the way you want to portray the image of your company.

For Example:
Close-up portrays a youthful image through its advertisements, whereas Cadbury (which earlier had largely targeted the youth) has shifted its focus and now projects its chocolate as something for the whole family to enjoy during times of rejoicing.

* Public Relations:
You have no control over how the media presents (or misrepresents) information about your organization. For Example:
Reliance did not have a control over the news which was published regarding the conflict between Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani and had to pay for it in form of loss in the share price (initially).

3. Shelf Life

* Advertising:
Since you pay for the space, you can...
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