Retail PR & Digital Marketing

The Ultimate Debate: PR Versus Advertising

ChicExecs Co-Founder and Co-President, Kailynn Bowling, shares the ultimate debate on PR versus advertising on Forbes blog.  Here is an excerpt from the piece.

Not sure if PR or advertising is right for you? They’re separate disciplines, so consider their pros and cons for your situation. Understand these three differences to choose the right approach for your brand.

1. Price

The most obvious difference between PR and advertising is the cost.

Because PR is a form of earned media, you won’t get results right away. It can take weeks of pitching to finally land a feature, which might be weeks or months away. For this reason, it’s incredibly helpful to hire a PR professional who has existing relationships with journalists and can save you the time of researching and pitching.

Fortunately, you spend very little money pursuing PR, so it’s still a cost-effective way to promote your business. Depending on the feature, PR can be more valuable than advertising. It’s credibility that you just can’t buy.

Advertising, on the other hand, immediately puts your brand in front of customers — for a price. It’s not unheard of for ad campaigns to burn through thousands of dollars a week.

This paid medium gets you results quickly through encouraging customers to buy right now. Unless you have a huge advertising budget, it’s hard to make this approach sustainable in the long term, especially if you’re a small business.

2. Credibility

This is a huge differentiator between PR and advertising. In a nutshell, advertising is like saying, “I’m great,” while PR is having someone else say you’re great.

And the stats don’t lie here: PR can be 90% more effective than advertising. That’s because a third party is promoting your business through PR. Whether it’s a journalist or TV feature, this comes off as fairer and less biased to your customers. Since customers prefer editorial coverage over product pitches, they pay more attention to your product in a PR feature.

3. Sales Versus Awareness

Advertising is a great way to put a “buy” button in front of your audience almost immediately. If your goal is to push for more sales, advertising can get you in the black. However, you do need to make sure your audience targeting is on point.

PR isn’t about making immediate sales; this is a long-term strategy that prioritizes touch points and awareness. Sales is absolutely a byproduct of brand awareness, but it takes a while to achieve.

Read Kailynn’s blog in its entirety here.


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