All the marketers should know the difference Between PR, Paid Media and Advertising
Three of the most commonly used marketing processes are public relations (PR), paid media, and advertising. It is common to get confused between these three areas. Although they include similar processes and have similar motives involves, PR, paid media, and advertising have subtle differences between them.
Let us start by understanding what each of these processes means.
What Are Public Relations?
Public relations are sets of processes that are aimed at establishing and maintaining healthy relations of a brand with the public. These processes are carried out by a business to have its approving image in public.
Public relations can be carried out for several purposes and stress a lot of media houses and journalists for circulating messages. PR processes are performed for increasing the confidence of employees, increasing brand awareness, launching a new product, improving business reputation, and a lot of other purposes.
What Is Paid Media?
As the name suggests, paid media refers to the media platforms where you can buy spaces for featuring your promotional messages. Here, brands pay money to external platforms for broadcasting their messages to be read by their target audience.
Using paid media is one of the fastest ways of getting promotional messages across to your target audience.
What Is Advertising?
Advertising is one of the ways of using paid media for promoting your business. It involves purchasing media space on different platforms (print, television, hoardings, social media, etc.) for displaying ads that encourage the target audience to engage with the business and purchase the products/services being advertised.
Also Read:-Important Tips for Online PR
Difference Between PR, Paid Media, And Advertising
Here are the major differences between the three processes based on specific parameters:
The Money Factor
For paid media and advertising, you are paying directly for making use of one or more external media platforms for the broadcasting of your messages. In other words, you are purchasing space on media platforms.
On the other hand, PR does not need you to purchase space on the media platform. Here, you are approaching media houses, journalists, bloggers, and other content creators, asking them to circulate the messages you want them to cover. You are not directly paying for space on one or more media platforms.
Your Target Audience
For advertising and paid media, the target audience often includes the external public like the customers, investors, suppliers, etc. The promotional messages here are directed for these entities to engage with your business.
On the other hand, the target audience for PR can be internal or external. While you can target all the entities mentioned above through a PR campaign, you can create campaigns designed for the internal public, including your employees, shareholders, etc.
Goals And Objectives
For paid media, the key goal is to increase the reach of your business by making your messages reach a maximum number of people. The goal in advertising is to drive sales and make more people buy the products/services being advertised.
However, the key objective of PR is not limited to closing maximum deals and driving more sales. It often takes a more wholesome approach to conveying the essence of a business or a brand to the target audience.
Instead of asking people directly to engage with a brand, PR processes communicate the soul of a brand to the target audience, improving its image in their minds.
For paid media and advertising, you have full control of the messages you circulate. Here, you can set the specific tone and placement of your messages to get the response you desire. In other words, you have control over the way in which your messages are broadcasted and perceived by the audience.
However, for PR, you do not have total control over the way in which your messages will be featured and perceived by the public. This is because you are only responsible for asking media houses and journalists to cover your business on their platforms. You have no control over the tone of messaging and the way in which your brand is portrayed by them.
Credibility Of Messaging
The target audience of paid media and advertising do not always tend to believe in everything being told to them. This is because of the assumption that a message can be spread by paying money and buying media spaces.
On the other hand, the credibility of PR messages is relatively more as they are considered to be more organic and reliable. This is because these messages are not paid and are published by credible sources, making the public believe that the messages have been published because the publisher found authenticity in them.
It is important for every marketer to understand the difference between these three marketing processes before going ahead with promoting their products or services. Always keep the specific implications in mind pertaining to each of these processes before allocating your resources and creating your campaigns.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do PR agencies charge in the UK?
The price charged by PR agencies in the UK depends on the specific needs of the clients. There are no fixed prices for everyone. The amount charged depends on the time period of the PR campaign, media platforms covered, media houses contacted, the composition of the target audience, and other relevant parameters.
Is hiring a PR firm worth it?
If you are willing to spread promotional messages to your target audience and deliver the essence of your brand in the best way possible, hiring a PR firm is always worth it.
Instead of handling PR operations by yourself, hiring a PR firm would provide you with the required services provided by experienced professionals. Getting professional help would help you attain all your goals and reach out to the maximum audience.
How does a PR firm make money?
The clients pay the PR firms by following different models as follows:
- Monthly Charge– Here, the businesses pay the firm a fixed pre-decided cost on a monthly basis for the services availed.
- Contractual Charge– Here, the businesses pay the firm on the basis of specific contracts assigned and work done accordingly.
- Coverage Basis– Here, the businesses pay the firm based on the amount of coverage received and reach of the messages on different media platforms.
How do I find a good PR agency?
In the age of digitization, a good PR agency is just a click away. Depending on your location, the audience you want to target, and the goals you want to achieve, you can look for the best PR agency in your location.
It is always advisable not to hurry in choosing the firm. Keep a list of a few good options and choose the best one out of the lot that suits all your needs.
What is an example of PR?
If you own a chain of luxury hotels and are planning to organize an event on the hotel premises, your PR campaign would involve asking all prominent media houses, journalists, and digital content creators to attend the concerned event and cover the same on their respective media platforms to gain the needed traction.
What do PR people do?
PR people are responsible for establishing and maintaining healthy relations of a brand with the internal or external public. They create and circulate messages through multiple media platforms to maintain a positive image of a brand with the target audience.
How can I work in PR?
You can work in PR if you have a good knowledge of the field of marketing. Having an educational degree in the field of PR, advertising, and other relevant fields is an added advantage.
However, if you do not have an educational degree in a relevant field, you can work as an intern at a PR firm to gain the work experience required for senior positions.
Which is better – PR or advertising?
This depends on your key marketing purpose. If your purpose is to drive sales and get more people to buy your products and avail of your services, advertising is a better option.
However, if you are willing to deliver the essence of your brand and make more people aware of your business without directly asking your audience to engage with you, PR is a better option to choose.
What is PR in social media?
Public relations (PR) in social media involves creating and sharing posts about the products/services provided by a business or covering a story pertaining to the concerned brand to get increased reach and traction. In short, it is using social media platforms for spreading promotional messages about a brand.
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