PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising
Reasons why your brand should invest more in public relation than advertising.
Pretoria – Public relations and advertising are often thought of as two different tools used to achieve two different goals. This has created a misconception that suggests that a campaign or an organisation can only use one of them to succeed in reaching an audience.
Advertising and PR are tools that brands use to reach their target audience and promote their product or service, they both work toward accomplishing the same goal for a business or organisation. With money on the line, marketers feel immense pressure to decide where they should focus their efforts. This article seeks to highlight why brands should invest more in PR than advertising:
Credibility – Advertisements are less believable than the coverage gained by PR because it is well known that these announcements and promotions are paid for. PR on the other hand fosters and utilises relationships that have been established with media. This can be a powerful tool because it can help shape public opinion. Consumers are more likely to believe and take note of something written in an article, rather than an advertisement that has been paid for.
Greater Reach – With advertisements your message’s reach is limited by the duration of your advert. If you pay to flight a 30 second TV commercial to promote your products or services, your brand only gets 30 seconds to promote its products or services. With PR, when you pitch a story idea about your products or services to number of journalists it will be published in different variations. This allows your target audience to see the information differently in many mediums, which may be more effective at reinforcing the message.
Two-way communication – PR allows your business to connect and converse with your target audience. Using social media platforms as a direct line of communication between your brand and your consumers can make consumers feel a personal bond to your brand. Advertising is a form of one-way communication. It is still possible to generate a response from someone with an advert, but it does not incite a conversation or connection the same way that PR does.
Greater Return on Investment (ROI) – Getting placements for an advert in a newspaper, magazine or on TV is expensive and online advertising on a lower-budget will only result in fewer impressions, generating a low ROI. Placing a story about a brand in the mediums of communication listed above will generate a higher ROI because the story is the reason why the audience views the medium and not the advert, they are not looking for advertisements. Therefore, coverage generated by a PR firm will be represent a greater return on your investment compared to an advertisement.
More active than passive – Generally consumers are usually unreceptive towards advertisements, and the ability to record TV shows means that the viewers are more likely to fast-forward through a commercial, magazines and newspaper adverts are often skipped and online ads usually go unnoticed. PR activities such as placing good articles in a magazine or a story shown on a news network allows potential customers to actively receive the information rather than skipping over it.
Advertising still serves a purpose in the marketing industry; it is still the best tool to reinforce something that has already been told through media coverage, but the power of PR should not be undermined because it makes an advert creditable. Credibility builds brands and creates brand awareness, while advertising reinforces brand awareness.
Companies such as Facebook, Starbucks and Pandora are examples of brands that have established themselves without any advertising at all. In 2014, media research company Nielsen, conducted research on the role of content in the consumer decision-making process, they concluded that PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising. Most politicians and other public figures make a name for themselves using public relations rather than advertising, which shows how effective good PR can really be.