The difference between advertising and PR
Imagine going to a networking event or a party and going round telling everyone you meet how amazing you are, and how good your product or service is. How credible do you think you’ll be? Will they believe you, or walk away and find someone else to talk to? That’s the problem with much advertising: it’s simply discounted, or at least ‘taken with a large pinch of salt’.
Now imagine that a supporter of yours goes to that event and mentions in conversation how good they think you are, and what benefit they’ve derived from using your product or service. Even better if it’s someone the listener already knows and trusts.
This is PR: in large part it’s about getting other people (usually journalists) to say nice things about you, and it’s hugely credible.
Of course not all publicity is glowing testimonial. Sometimes PR can be about raising awareness of your brand, associating you with a particular topic or establishing you as an expert. It boils down to building your reputation among your target audience.
In case you’re wondering, we believe that there is a role for advertising as part of a rounded marketing communications mix – but on its own it’s not nearly as effective or cost effective as PR.