Public Relations vs. Advertising.

Where to spend your money? That’s always a tough question, but even more so in a down economy when budgets are tight and every dollar counts. So let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of PR and Advertising to help you make the best decision for your organization:

Public Relations


  • Relatively low cost
  • Third-party endorsement carries high value in today’s cynical market
  • Many smaller trade publications and local newspapers need to fill space inexpensively with news releases and vendor bylined articles
  • Ditto for conferences looking for session leaders, panel members and secondary speakers
  • Opportunities to become a thought leader


  • Requires good media connections to function at the highest level
  • Little or no control over the final message
  • Limited shelf life—usually a one time appearance
  • Undependable exposure—no control over frequency or amount of coverage
  • Limited metrics



  • Control over message and creative
  • Ability to determine timing and frequency
  • Generally has longer shelf life
  • Better metrics to measure marketing ROI


  • Expensive—consumes your budget faster
  • Exposure proportional to your expenditure
  • Consumers know they’re reading a paid sales message
  • No third-party endorsement

And the Winner Is…

It really depends on the size of your budget. In an ideal marketing world (let us know if you bump into one), you would have an appropriate blend of public relations and advertising to maximize your overall strategy.

But your situation is different if you are a smaller printer that doesn’t have the budget luxury of creating an optimum plan. For you, PR is likely the better approach for direct and personal communications with your target prospects.

What is clear is that you need to actively promote your company on a consistent basis, delivering a relevant message that resonates with decision makers. Down economies may make the task more challenging, but printing companies that market in good times and bad enjoy more success over the long haul. You remain visible to your audience and send a message of reliability, to say nothing of promoting your brand when others aren’t.

— by Larry Bauer

Explore posts in the same categories: Advertising, PR

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