Public Relations vs. Advertising

After months or years of preparation, your business is finally a reality.  You are mindful of all the essentials needed to build the successful business you envision: the location of your business; your logo design and web page; your qualified and cordial staff, should you have one; and most importantly, your product.  Now you are ready for the big launch!

Almost as quickly as your doors are open, media sales representatives soliciting your business inundate you.  Certainly, if your colleagues are taking out ads, you should, too.  Right? Possibly, but there’s more to consider before you shell out the cash.
Many business owners believe that in order to keep themselves in the forefront of the market it would require them to purchase an ad, when in fact, it’s that and so much more.  Advertising can be very effective assuming that your are successfully appealing to the market you are attempting to reach, and positioning yourself as to how you would like to be positioned. 
Realistically, however, advertising alone can take your exposure only so far.  Advertising does serve a purpose, but without an effective Public Relations campaign to support it, the expense often generates poor results.  To not take advantage of all the Public Relations opportunities is like a surgeon performing surgery without the appropriate surgical tools.
Did you know that approximately 85% of the stories you read in newspapers and magazines, interviews you see on television or hear on the radio were secured by a publicist?  
The Public Relations Society of America has determined that an article, television profile, radio or Internet interview is up to seven time more believable than an advertisement, because it is more retainable and it shows more creditability.  
In local television programming, for instance, a 3-minute interview, which would have cost $4,000 for the same amount of time had it been purchased as an advertisement, is valued at a minimum of $12,000.  In all probability, that one interview reached several hundred thousand viewers depending on the location of your business.  
Publicity, commonly referred to as “free advertising” or “the cheapest form of advertising,” is the perfect solution for you as a business owner wanting to be positioned as an expert in your field by standing apart from the monotonous and endless sea of ads. 
Considering that a publicist’s one-month fee might equate to the price of one full-page ad in a glossy magazine makes great sense when considering value for value, dollar for dollar.
It is the job of your publicist to focus upon and obtain for you all appropriate and available media exposure, taking your business to the next level.  A comprehensive Public Relations campaign tailored to your business will dramatically increase the public’s awareness of your business.  
With an effective Public Relations campaign, your goal to stand apart from your competition will be achieved.  Ultimately, this will mean an increasing bottom-line profit for your business.  

7 thoughts on “Public Relations vs. Advertising

  1. Jovan say:

    85% of the stories we read or see on t.v. are secured by a publicist. That is something to remember that most of the general public would not stop to think about. Thank you for educating the public on “Public Relations” and what great PR is all about!
    Jovan Van Drielle

  2. I was aware that publicists got stories in newspapers, magazines and on tv, but I did not realize the extent to which this occurs.

    It also did not occur to me to use a publicist until Lauren educated me about its effectiveness.

    I was about to embark on an expensive advertising campaign when I met Lauren and, with her help, will be able to generate a much more effective campaign than I had originally anticipated.

    Thanks, Lauren!

  3. Anonymous say:

    I enjoyed reading about the realities of a positive and effective public relations stategy. I can personally attest to the tremendous benefits
    of receiving outstanding press coverage through the great efforts of Lauren with regard to my business.
    Lauren is the best at PR!!!

    Jerre Lynn Vanier

  4. I hired Lauren to run a national publicity campaign when I self-published my first novel. It was a delight to watch her prose appear in a multitude of publications. Because she was so thoughtful and particular with her language, editors simply plucked her words and planted them in their articles. Why would I need an advertising budget?

  5. Lauren:
    Can you please let the Professional Resource Department of the Public Relations Society of America know where you found the quote you are attributing to us?

    We have looked through all of our articles and monographs and do not appear to substantiate that is research that we did.

    Actually we cannot find any materials comparing the value of advertising to the value of public relations that involve any sort of ratios or multipliers.

    I can be reached at info AT, and look forward to hearing from you.


  6. Hi Randi,

    I just read your comment and although I can’t speak on behalf of Lauren on where she found this information, as a public relations specialist myself, I’ve heard the statistics Lauren is quoting and have used them when pitching new business and in selling the classes I teach on PR and Marketing.

    I’m sure Lauren wouldn’t quote anything that is wrong having known her as long as I have and having heard the same information myself although I don’t know if it was from your group or not.

    I do know it is posted on the internet because that’s where I get a lot of my information.

    We as PR professionals take our sources very seriously and pride ourselves in only pitching the truth to the media. As a result, journalists trust Lauren and myself because they know they’re receiving accurate information.

    I’m sure Lauren will be responding soon! Have a great day!

  7. Hi Randi,

    Thank you for your comment on Public Relations vs. Advertising. Part of the reason that you might not have been able to find the statistics I refer to is because it was verbally quoted to me by someone with PRSA way back in 1996. The quote exactly matches what I wrote in my blog. I’m certain that given the state of the economy, the value of public relations vs. advertising has substantially increased.

    I would love to continue this conversation offsite, so please feel free to email me directly at lauren at lrpr dot com.


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