Advertising is actually paid media, while Public Relations is making media, and this means persuading journalists or editors to write a positive story about you or your client, your candidate, brand or problem and it appears in the editorial of the magazine, newspaper, TV station or website instead of the “paid media” section where advertising messages appear. That is why your story has more credibility because it has been independently verified by a trusted third party rather than a buyout.
However, another huge difference is the price, because PR firms charge monthly or can be hired for a specific project, while advertising can be very expensive.
So one can pay for a full page ad in a weekly magazine that cost him $ 125,000 and he expects a wave of phone calls, viral media and more ad talk, but he gets zero. And by contrast, the apprehension quoted in the New York Times, Forbes and Reuters may result in invitations to national speeches, calls from new and existing clients, and solid credibility. Not everyone can afford $ 125,000, so advertising can be expensive when you calculate space or time costs plus creative designs and production costs, and most ads need to be repeated several times before they can affect the consumer.
So it is in their best interest to sell you more ads, advertising people tell customers what you want to hear, you only have to pay a few months more for billboards and TV spots! But PR people deal with crises, image improvement and long-term relationships where your story often has to be accepted by others (media) before you get recognition, PR people will tell you what you need to hear.
Sebastian Hejnowski, CEO, Central and Eastern Europe at MSLGROUP, says: “PR explains the complexity of reality that surrounds us and in addition helps brands to efficiently communicate their targets and mission. Whatever PR means to you and whatever expectations you have in this respect, when done well, good PR can be much more effective and less expensive than advertising.”