Advertising vs Public Relations: Difference and Comparison

In any business, the foremost goal is to make money. To make more money, you are supposed to increase the number of sales of the product.


Business Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to business

1 / 10

A building jointly owned is called office________.

2 / 10

A partner in a firm _____.

3 / 10

This city has the highest cost of living in the world.

4 / 10

What is revenue?

5 / 10

A valid definition of a business purpose is to ______.

6 / 10

_________ deals with appointing people and placing them at the appropriate jobs.

7 / 10

Importing goods for the purpose of re-export is termed as ___________.

8 / 10

When an existing company offers its shares for sale to the existing shareholders, it is known as ___________.

9 / 10

In order to gain a competitive edge on the competition, some companies focus on:

10 / 10

Whose Liability is limited to the extent of his capital to the firm?

Your score is


It is crucial to use advertising and public relations effectively to break through the noise in this competitive world.

Every company wants to increase its sales. To do that, one needs to understand the importance of Advertising and Public Relations.

Apart from advertising and public relations, services can be promoted through sales promotion and direct selling. The announcements in advertising can be made by various means of media, including print, tv ads, radio stations, etc.

Public Relations, on the other hand, involves building trust by the means of communication.

When connecting to your target audience, PR is the way to go. It works more effectively than a paid advertisement.

Key Takeaways

  1. Advertising is a paid form of communication that promotes a product or service.
  2. Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds relationships between an organization and its stakeholders.
  3. Advertising is focused on promoting a specific product or service, while public relations is focused on building and maintaining relationships.

Advertising vs Public Relations

Advertising is a paid form of communication from an identified sponsor, promoting ideas, goods, or services directly to the consumer. Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and shaping the public image and perception of an individual or organization, through unpaid or earned media.

Advertising vs Public Relations


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonAdvertisingPublic Relations
DefinitionAdvertising is bringing your products and services in front of the public by utilizing paid announcements.Public Relations involves building a stable relationship with the customer through strategic communication.
CommunicationIn advertising, you sell your product rather than listen to your customers. Therefore, it is a one-way form of communication.Public Relations are two-way communication as the feedback of the audience also does matter in order to build trust.
AimAdvertising aims to make people aware of your services so they can consider paying for them.It helps you to build a better image of your company publicly.
Amount of controlThe advertisements are in total control of the company.No control is there in the case of public relations.
Publishing periodThe ads keep on publishing as long as you want them to.They can be published only for once.


What is Advertising?

Advertising is promoting your product or services so that people will know that such a product exists in the market.

It is done with the hope that people will choose their product. The advertisements get broadcasted through various means, including printed ads, radio stations, TV Channels, etc.

In advertising, there is massive control over when the ad should be published so that most people can watch it.

The advertising can be done as long as the advertiser wants it to go. It majorly depends on a budget of the company.

Advertising comes under paid media. In advertising, you pay others to appreciate your product by discussing its strength.

Most people are aware of this fact, which is why they take advertisements for granted sometimes. However, if advertising is done creatively, then it can end up spiking up your sales right through the roof.

The key is to understand your customers’ problems and act accordingly while approaching advertising.


What are Public Relations?

Public Relations is a tool of communication that lets a brand establish a good relationship with its customers. This relationship of trust is what makes a person opt for a particular product or service the next time.

Unlike advertising, it is much more powerful. The advertisements are not able to induce people to buy a product as they are aware that someone is trying to sell something to them.

However, public relations work differently. People might read a story or an article where they learned about a specific product, and now that product seems much more authentic to them.

Communicating with the target audience this way convinces them to try out your services. This is how little media exposure can spike up your sales.

You can’t have any control over public relations like advertising. Public relations act as free publicity.

This free publicity is getting achieved by goodwill, people recommending your product to their friends, etc.

Public Relations

Main Differences Between Advertising and Public Relations

  1. The advertising offers complete control to the advertiser. The advertisers know where and at what time their ads will be published.
    However, public relations offer no control at all.
  2. There is a large room for creativity while making an advertisement. You get to decide what goes into your advertisement.
    There is no space to make any corrections to your public image here. It’s on to the media to show anything about your product or services.
  3. Advertisements can keep on going until your budget allows. However, PR only works once.
  4. In advertising, people know that a company is trying to sell their product. In PR, your services get recommended to people by word of mouth.
  5. PR has more credibility than advertising, as people know it’s not another ad.
Difference Between Advertising and Public Relations
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1 thought on “Advertising vs Public Relations: Difference and Comparison”

  1. In terms of cost, a PR costs a lot than advertising on digital mediums (these are bid based). I like Facebook ads because of the detailed targeting options available there.

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