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Text A How Does Public Relations Differ From Advertising?

PR is not a form of advertising and is a much bigger than advertising. This is because PR relates toall the communications of the organisation and advertising is mainly limited tothe marketing function.

Public relations is neither 'free advertising'nor 'unpaid-for advertising'.There is nothing 'free' about PR:it is time-consumingand time costs money. This money may be represented by either staff salariesor consultancy fees.If a story appears in the news column its value cannot be counted by advertisement ratesfor space or time because editorial spaceand radio or television programme time is priceless.

Advertising may not be used by an organisation, but every organisation is involved in public relations. For example, a fire brigadedoes not advertise for fires or even advertise for its services, but it does have relations with many publics.

Public relations works with everyone and everywhere and advertising is limited to special selling and buying tasks such as promoting goods and servicesor recruiting staff.Public relations has to do with the total communications of an organisation, it is more extensivethan advertising. Sometimes PR may use advertising which is why PR is neither a form of advertising nor a part of advertising.

Another difference lies in the finances of the two. There are several ways in which advertising agencies receive their income,but basically the commission systemis universal,agencies receiving commission from the media on the space or air timewhich they buy. The PR consultancy can sell only its time and expertise,and fees are chargedaccording to the work made. Moreover,in advertising most of the budget is spent on media and production costswhereas in PR most of the money is spent to pay staff specialists or consultants.

Adapted from the text by F.Jenkins





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