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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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History of house journals | PR, Marketing, Sales Promotion, Publicity, Propaganda PR and Advertising

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