Important Differences between Advertising and Public relations


Advertising is the practice and techniques employed to bring attention to a product or service. Advertising aims to put a product or service in the spotlight in hopes of drawing it attention from consumers. It is typically used to promote a specific good or service, but there are wide range of uses, the most common being the commercial advertisement.

Commercial advertisements often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through “branding”, which associates a product name or image with certain qualities in the minds of consumers. On the other hand, ads that intend to elicit an immediate sale are known as direct-response advertising. Non-commercial entities that advertise more than consumer products or services include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental agencies. Non-profit organizations may use free modes of persuasion, such as a public service announcement. Advertising may also help to reassure employees or shareholders that a company is viable or successful.

(i) Introduction of New Products:

Advertising helps in the introduction of new products in the market. A business enterprise can introduce itself and its products to the public through advertising. Advertising enables quick publicity in the market.

(ii) Promotion of Sales:

Advertising promotes the sale of goods and services by informing and persuading the people to buy them. A good advertising campaign helps in winning customers and generating revenues.

(iii) Support to Production System:

Advertising facilitates large-scale production. The business firm knows that it will be able to sell on a large-scale with the help of advertising. Mass production will reduce the cost of production per unit by making possible the economical use of various factors of production.

(iv) Public Image:

Advertising builds up the reputation of the advertiser. Advertising enables a business firm to communicate its achievements and its efforts to satisfy the customers’ needs to the public. This increases the goodwill and reputation of the firm.

(v) Increasing Standard of Living:

Advertising educates the people about the products and their uses. It is advertising which has helped people in adopting new ways of life and giving up old habits. It has contributed a lot towards the betterment of the standard of living of the society.

(vi) Support to Media:

Advertising sustains press. Advertising provides an important source of revenue to the publishers of newspapers and magazines and the producers of T.V. programmes.

Significance of Advertising:

Advertising helps in spreading information about the advertising firm, its products, qualities and place of availability of its products and so on. It helps to create a non-personal link between the advertiser and the receivers of the message.

The significance of advertising has increased in the modern era of large scale production and tough competition in the market. Advertising is needed not only to the manufacturers and traders but also to the customers and the society. The benefits of advertising to different parties are discussed in the following paragraphs.

Public relations

Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) to the public in order to influence their perception. Public relations and publicity differ in that PR is controlled internally, whereas publicity is not controlled and contributed by external parties. Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment. The exposure mostly is media-based. This differentiates it from advertising as a form of marketing communications. Public relations aims to create or obtain coverage for clients for free, also known as earned media, rather than paying for marketing or advertising also known as paid media. But in the early 21st century, advertising is also a part of broader PR activities.

An example of good public relations would be generating an article featuring a PR firm’s client, rather than paying for the client to be advertised next to the article. The aim of public relations is to inform the public, prospective customers, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders, and persuade them to maintain a positive or favorable view about the organization, its leadership, products, or political decisions. Public relations professionals typically work for PR and marketing firms, businesses and companies, government, and public officials as public information officers and nongovernmental organizations, and nonprofit organizations. Jobs central to public relations include internal positions such as public relations coordinator, public relations specialist, public relations manager, and outside agency positions such as account coordinator, account executive, account supervisor, and media relations manager.


Generating Interest:

When you have the attention of your target market, the next step is to create interest in the company’s product/service through events and articles. For instance, a company has a special food menu and the brand promotes it by sending a promotional release to its target market.

Creating Product Awareness:

As the name implies, you launch the company’s product/service to the public at this stage. Marketers use advertisement and promotion campaigns to attract the attention of the target market.

Encourage Demand:

When your customers are better informed through media, articles, events, and promotional activities, it’s highly probable that better information would create demand among your target customers. Consequently, the sale of the company would increase.


The purpose of the PR is to provide well-detailed information about the brand’s product/service. The company delivers information through media, articles, press-release, and the company’s website.

Strengthening Brand:

The overall objective of PR is to establish and strengthen the brand image of the company along with the sale. That’s why it’s important to build, maintain, and establish a relationship with customers because it strengthens the company’s brand image.


Product Publicity:

The product information presented in the “Paid space” of media is read or heard by a company’s customers or prospects. The department publicizes the product through sponsoring efforts.

Press relations:

A PR department performs the function of Creation and dissemination of information to Press. This is known as publicity.

Corporate communication:

PR Departments promote the understanding of the company and its products and services. For this purpose, they undertake external and internal communication.


Public Relations departments advise the top management on matters related to public issues. This also includes advising the company in the event of product mishap.


Lobbying means dealing with legislators and government officials to promote or defeat unfavourable legislation and regulation. Professional lobbyists are employed in order to influence the key decisions of the government affecting company’s prospects.

In-house Magazine and Journals:

Many service organizations such as hospitals, health care, beauty parlour etc., publicize their own magazines which are circulated among customers. The role of PR Departments in developing in house journals is significant. Apart from in-house journals, companies publish annual reports, brochures, articles, company’s newsletter and audio-visual materials. Creating websites on the history of the company and its present developments also influence the target markets.

Special events:

PR Departments help organizations attract media attention by arranging newsworthy organizations. These special events are the backbone of service marketers.

Public service activities:

PR Departments help companies build goodwill by contributing money and time to good causes. Large corporate ask executives to support community affairs.

Advertising Public Relation
Definition Advertising refers to the conversion-focused activities that are directed towards a specific target audience. It refers to strategic communication which builds a mutual relationship between the marketer/seller/company and the customer/Public.
Main Focus Focus to produce more and more products. Maintaining a good image of the company in the media.
Brand Interest Emphasis on creating the interest of the customer. Protect the consumer’s interest is the main function of the company.
Company Strategy Access full control over advertising the products. Very less control
Feedback Only shows the product or just does the advertisement. Helpful and Facilitates instant feedback from the cusumers
Communication One way communication. Two way communication  or parties involved
Media Media is purchased  Build its own image
Form impersonal Personal

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