Ifferences Between Advertising and Public Relations

Public relations is part of marketing but differs from advertising. With advertising, the sponsoring organization (nonprofit, association, company, etc.) has control over the message, creative elements, media placement, and budget, etc. The creative, production, and media space/time purchases are paid for either directly or through a marketing agency or media buyer. Public relations results from the medias coverage of something related to the organization. That could be, for example:
A speaking engagement, participation on a panel, in a conference, or in a trade show
Sponsorship/underwriting of an event, team, activity, etc.
Writing an Op-Ed piece
A charitable donation or support of a cause (by allowing employees to volunteer time and still be paid as if they were working, by senior executives volunteering time or donating funds, etc.
Speaking out about an issue or problem
Providing scholarships for deserving students
Having a new product reviewed in a roundup piece or new product review in a trade journal or major business publication
There may be costs associated with such efforts (money donated, time donated, buying uniforms, paying for transportation, hotel and meal costs, hiring writers to draft articles, speeches, talking points, etc.). BUT, and this is a big BUT, neither the organization nor any of its service providers pay for the media coverage. That is generated free of charge as a result of the newsworthiness of the effort, the quality or value of the effort, or the anticipated level of interest among the community, viewers or listeners.

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