5 Ways in which Advertising is Different from Public Relations

5 Ways in which Advertising is Different from Public Relations

Advertising and Public Relations are two concepts that everyone tend to associate the most with marketing, regardless of their level of knowledge about the issue. In fact, it has been observed that because both often fulfill some common functions, people often confuse the concepts with one another. When one looks briefly, they might think so, but after looking into the two concepts at length, the two are in fact far from being called identical. So how are these two concepts different from one another? And are there any similarities between the two concepts? Let us find out:

Paid Vs Earned

The most basic difference between the two concepts is that the monetary one. Advertising is a paid form of communication. In this the brand has to pay money to an ad agency or has to invest money, from their own pocket to create the advertisements. Whereas, in Public Relations, the coverage is earned by brands and not paid for. This coverage is earned through contacts in the media industry. Press releases, pitches, or information is shared with the outlets, which then provide the coverage.

Target Audience

Another difference that the two functions have is that advertising is targeted, mostly at the existing and potential customers. Whereas, Public Relation is targeted at both, internal and external shareholders which would also include people like the employees of the company, the shareholders, the media, the lawmakers, and is aimed at influencing them.

Aim and Objectives

Advertising aims at increasing sales, promoting a new product, and informing the audience of what the brand offers to them. Public Relations on the other hand, is aimed at creating brand awareness and building a reputation of the brand. It is aimed at preserving the public image of the brand and it makes the audience understand the brand better, in many ways. Being the Best PR Agency in Delhi we make sure that the image of the brand always remains preserved in the eyes of the public.

Time Factor

Public Relation is done on a long term basis. PR professionals try to build an image and reputation of the brand that stands outs, over a long period of time in order to slowly and gradually build up a reputation in the minds of the consumers. Advertising is usually done with a much shorter time frame in mind. It is often done to launch a new product, or to boost up sales through sales promotion. Hence, the time frame in mind is much shorter than for PR.


Public relations is seen as a much more credible marketing tool, by the consumers than advertising. This is because of the third party factor involved. In advertising, the message comes directly from the brand and is often not seen as a credible message. On the other hand, in PR the messages come via a third party involved, i.e., the media outlet involved and is hence, seen by the consumers as a much more reliable and credible source, when the message is conveyed.

These are some of the basic differences between the two concepts of marketing at hand. There are many more differences that can be pointed out, like the creative control factor, the difference in writing style when it comes to the two concepts, and the shelf life of the two. Both of these two are seen as two of the most significant tools, in the marketing world. Although there are some similarities between the two tools. Both play a major role in creating awareness around the brand and making people realize what the brand is. Another similarity is that in both, a particular set of audience is targeted. Although the audience for both of them, as discussed before is often different from one another.  Regardless, both fulfill many important functions and are very essential in the marketing world.

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