Whether you are building a home, baking a cake or developing a marketing plan, the key is using the right tools.
Think of scissors vs. knives. They both have a sharp edges and can make a cut, but you wouldn’t consider using scissors to slice a cake.
Asking “what’s the goal” will help you decide whether to use public relations or advertising to market your company.
If you are interested in building mass awareness for your brand, solidifying an image or driving people to take action (sale ends Sunday), then advertising is your best bet. Advertising allows you to repeat a controlled message.
Public relations is a better fit when you want to influence opinion, build credibility, address an issue, introduce a new concept or position your company/product over time. While more nuanced than advertising, editorial coverage often carries greater weight in the mind of the reader. Think how you personally respond to an expert from a company who is quoted in an article compared to an advertisement that boasts about the same company or person.
Unlike advertising, public relations doesn’t offer the same amount of control. A professional can bring a story idea and a source to a reporter, media train the source to deliver the best message and offer appropriate art work, but the final result is in the hands of the reporter and the editor. This is what makes articles more credible than advertising.
Which is better for your company: advertising or PR?