Many people may have the image that PR and advertising companies both do the same kind of work, but their respective areas of activities are quite different.

Public Relations surrounded by words that describe itself

PR Agencies

A PR agency focuses primarily on obtaining earned media coverage while providing support and consulting for the public relations operations of companies, organizations, and groups.
Let’s review the meaning of PR. In Japan, the widespread use and meaning of PR has the nuance of “strongly promoting oneself or advertising,” but this is a broad interpretation. Public relations, abbreviated to PR, comprises overall communication activities that build trustworthy relationships with society and its people through a variety of media. The Japanese translation of public relations is quite literal, but government agencies specifically use the term public relations and public hearings for this word. A PR agency has the expected expertise in the areas of public relations and activities. We work on behalf of, or with, various companies, organizations, and institutions to build trust in order to achieve their communication objectives.

Advertising Agencies

An advertising company, on the other hand, focuses on its role of obtaining paid media and securing space for advertisement placement.
An advertising agency purchases time and space in mass media, web advertising, traffic, outdoor advertising, etc. and use them to publish and display the message a company, organization, or group wants to showcase by undertaking a set of operations, starting from creative tasks to publications and public exposure of ads. Until it is published and seen, they also produce creative solutions for advertising that help express the philosophy a company, organization, or group wants to showcase. Whenever products or services require an advertisement, they offer their knowledge to generate creative ideas, produce creative work, and select the right media for each target audience.

What is the difference between PR and advertising?

PR and advertising both convey information about products and services of companies, organizations, and groups to mass media, but the following table shows their key main differences. What is the basic difference between PR and advertising when using mass media?

Public RelationsAdvertising
Department HeadEditorial and News OfficeAdvertising Office
Medium UsedArticles and Press ReleasesAds & Commercials
Publication Decision MakerMediaAdvertisement Sponsor
Content Decision MakerMediaAdvertisement Sponsor
Point of View of InformationObjectiveSubjective
Standard of the ContentFactualOpinionated
CredibleYesQuestionable
CostLowHigh

All in all, you can see that advertising is paid media and public relations is earned media. While they may work in a similar space, they both have an end-goal quite different. So, are you looking to generate sales or to garner a favorable opinion?

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