Difference Between Advertising and Public Relations

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Last Updated on Nov 16, 2022 by Troy

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    Difference Between Advertising And Public Relations

    Brief Overview Of Advertising And Public Relations

    Below you’ll find some of the core differences between advertising and public relations.

    Advertising is ROI driven, and data driven. Public Relations is used to shift, boost, mold and reposition your company’s public perception.

    Advertising is immediate, PR is investing in long term market influence.

    Let’s Go Deeper Into The Difference Between Advertising & PR

    Advertising generally has a specific KPI & goal oriented approach. When you implement a proper marketing campaign, the goals should be pre-defined with the C-Suite of a company. The marketing team then works alongside the sales team to create a robust and diverse strategy based on previous data that will help hit the long term, and short term revenue goals of the company.

    Now, The Difference Of Public Relations

    Public Relations is many things to many people. It can be proactive, or re-active depending on the strategy you have.

    A proper PR campaign can have immediate and direct influence on existing marketing campaigns. Public Relations can add layers of credibility that may have been overlooked or missing from the public’s viewpoint in the past. Public Relations allows you to manage how the public views you, and shapes your perception, in turn boosting your brand positioning.

    Comparing the Key Differences

    Target Audience

    Advertising: Campaigns’ audiences should be based on empirical result driven data, find what audience you were targeting in the past that brought you the most profitable results and use that.

    PR: Your audiences here can vary, especially if you’re attacking a new market that you are wanting to enter. Your PR can have an internal influence too. Consider your current shareholders and employee’s morale when they see a positive PR piece.


    Advertising: Marketing can, and should deliver almost immediate results that are trackable from initial touchpoint, to conversion & sale.. Within the first few weeks to a month of a campaign you can know almost instantly what is working, and what is not.

    However, consider this…most companies we have observed don’t have robust tracking systems. They are often unable to track from the first touchpoint where a customer entered their world, to where the potential customer either converted into a sale or dropped off.

    PR: Tracking your Public Relations pieces should be on a long term basis, and will influence and effect current marketing campaigns at large.

    Within 1-3 months you should see your marketing campaigns get influenced by your PR. This depends if it was published inside a large network that your audience actually hangs out in, or a small audience that you’re just trying to leverage credibility from.

    Oftentimes PR campaigns are published just to piggy-back credibility from a news outlet or co-aligned brand in your industry, so depending on the goal the “tracking” outcome can be immediate in this regard.

    Simply Defined Tasks So You Can See The Difference Between The Two


    – Comprehensive Avatar & Customer Research

    – Result Driven Advertising & PPC Campaigns

    – Result Driven Email Marketing 

    – Developing Sales Collateral

    – Long-term Content & SEO Strategies

    Public Relations

    – Award Ceremonies & Nominations

    – Managing The Companies Core Messaging

    – Podcast Tours & Speaking Engagements- Building Media & Publication Relationships

    And much, much more…


    Now do you know the difference between Advertising and Public Relations? What really matters is identifying your long term goals and KPI’s so you can use Marketing and Public Relations as a superpower, and in tandem together. They both work well, when united in a combined force. Want help with that? Please visit https://legacymediapartners.com/apply and fill out our application.

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