Advertising Versus PR
As any person with a business would know, marketing efforts is all about ensuring that the product or service that they offer is chosen. The end and measurement of any marketing goal largely define the success of such effort. Because marketing isn’t just about creating the product and putting a price tag on it, most businesses are laboring on promotion and product placement as well. This is where advertising and public relations come into play. Both are essentials to marketing, but without clear a grasp of both, a business will likely get lost in the ocean of strong competition.
But what really is advertising? What is PR or public relations about? How are the two different and similar to each other?
First and foremost, you need to understand that both falls under the bigger umbrella called promotion. This is that marketing aspect where a business communicates with the consumers. In particular, it is about interacting with both target and potential market. The tools involved in promotions, apart from both advertising and PR, would be sales, personal selling, and often, collateral resources.
Now on to what advertising is, it is largely that message that your business would deliver to the market or consumers. It means carrying out a paid-for delivery of such messages thru various media such as the internet, print and broadcast over the radio or television. The purpose of the message could be to inform about what you have to sell or the services that you offer, or persuade buyers to buy your product. Most of the advertisement messages are crafted to sway consumers into buying; many are directly speaking to readers, listeners or internet users who come across these ads. The point is, you must create a really good message
Of course, that important message your business wants to get across should be prepared by you, and then its delivery is also under your control. Once the message is out, however, you don’t have control over it. Hence, feedback isn’t likely to be achieved. More so, the public perceives your business’ message as a commercial ploy to get them to act, like purchase, visit a website, learn more about the product or refer it so others. With the intelligent consumers nowadays, many of them consider ads as highly manipulative, even controlling and deceptive. So if you’re bent on advertising, make sure that it is perceived as a marketing effort, not a tactic that will shortchange the buying public.
On the other hand, public relations could be considered a free marketing strategy. Any inclusion in the mass media coverage doesn’t usually incur expense. The thing is that how your business message gets across strongly relies on how the media interprets it. Another thing that is no longer in your control would be the timing wherein your business PR becomes dependent on multiple factors. Examples of public relations would be sponsorships of local teams, shows and fairs, speaking engagements and appearances, etc. It can be said that one great benefit of PR would be the fair communication between your business or its representatives, and the public. Venues for PRs are usually opened for two-way communication, making it a sort of goodwill marketing.
Obviously, both public relations and advertising have their own advantages and downsides. The idea then is to maximize the benefits both avenues could bring to your business. At the same time, careful strategizing is needed to lessen the disadvantages, if not avoid altogether, so that your marketing targets are optimized.