PR versus Advertising

By December 5, 2016Delicious Buzz

CONFESSION: I didn’t 100% know the difference between PR and advertising.  I know, I’m embarrassed. However, now that I work in PR I definitely know the difference between the two.

MAIN DIFFERENCE: Advertising is a PAID announcement and PR gains publicity in the media by developing strategies.

Public Relations: 

  • strategic communication that builds relationships between client and public
  • creates messages that are more trustworthy to consumers then then paid ad messages
  • PR provides newsworthy stories about their clients and this can be a more powerful tool because it can help shape opinions of the pubic
  • avenues like social media allow others to hear and leverage your message and create third-party content
  • PR pros and media relations work together to reach the same audience.
  • PR professionals can curate a client’s content to share the message they want to share.


  • Creating paid announcements to be promoted in different types of media (print, online, TV).
  • Customers know businesses are paying for the ad, so they there is a perceive certain amount of bias.
  • An ad generally has a longer shelf life than one press release. Pay for space means you can run your ads over and over as long as your budget allows.
  • If the company sponsors an event, you don’t want to take out an ad giving yourself a pat on the back for being such a great company. This is where your PR department steps in.
  • Wording used in advertisement: Buy this product! Call today!
  • Advertising is based on demographics and market research. Advertisers must find the right audience and medium to advertise in.