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Public Relations vs. Advertising?

1. Were someone to approach you and ask "what is the difference between public relations and advertising," what would you tell them?
2. What is the difference between them?
3. What are the similarities?

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Please see response attached, which is also presented below.


Interesting question! Let's take a closer look through discussion and example.

1. Were someone to approach you and ask "what is the difference between public relations and advertising," what would you tell them? What is the difference between them? What are the similarities?

· The easiest way to separate them is that Public Relations is simply creating and maintaining relationship with the public. While, Advertising is to promote product or service of the organization for increase the sell. However, we will go into detail for your better understanding of Public Relations and Advertising.

· Public Relations and Advertising are similar with one another in the big picture, for instance their main objective is to communicate and give the information, their process with sameness of research, planning, communication, and evaluation but they are different in details. Public Relations is focused on publics while Advertising is focused on the product or service. They adopt different in strategy and tactics which Public Relation is more restraint while Advertising is much likely to be over the edge. As the consequence, Advertising is designed to be catchy so that they can attract the target audience. Therefore, many times, Advertising adopts non-factual information to its message. On the other hand, Public Relations must adopt factual information because if they are being caught, their creditability and relation with the publics can be torn down easily.

· Public Relations and Advertising can be separated by cost and control as Public Relations do not cost much of money to the organization but the message is not guarantee the result, as it will send to the publics as the PR practitioner desire. Therefore, Public Relations is less in cost as well as control. On the other hand, Advertising is a content you pay to present by purchasing space or time in various communication mediums. Regularly, Advertising does cost great amount of money but you have perfect controlling on the message about who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Let's take a closer look at some of these ideas from information drawn from a comparative study of advertising and public relations. I left the definitions because it helps to understand the differences between the two.

Example: Extra Reading

Definition of Public Relations

? "Public Relations is the deliberate, planned, and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organizations and its publics." (British Institute of Public Opinion)
? "Public Relations is the conscious and legitimate effort to achieve understanding and the establishment and maintenance of trust among the public on the basis of systematic research." (Deutsche Public Relations Gesellschaft of the Federal Republic of Germany)
? "Public Relations is the sustained and systematic managerial effort through which private and public organizations seek to establish understanding, sympathy, and support in those public circles with which they have or expect to obtain contact." (Dansk Public Relations Klub of Denmark )

Definition of Advertising

§ Advertising is the non-personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about product, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media. (Bovee, 1992)

Obviously, Public Relations (PR) has something to do with publics both inside and outside for the benefit of the organization, such as better connection, better company's image. However, such benefits are quite intangible to company. Moreover, the process of PR need to be sustained as the relationship with publics must ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains the difference between public relations and advertising looking at both similarities and differences.