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What is the difference between PR and advertising?



As the saying goes: “Advertising is what you pay for, PR is what you pray for.”


Unlike advertisers, who pay for coverage, PR professionals convince journalists to write about their clients for free. PRs are story tellers and relationship builders. They open their contacts books to their clients facilitating introductions to noteworthy journalists, influencers, celebrity managers, events organisers, industry awards decision makers and more to promote your brand. They track the news agenda, trends and public mood to find opportunities to shine a spotlight on what makes you special. They mine the organisation for stories and where there are none, they create them.


PRs use a multitude of platforms to promote their clients. They gain coverage within newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, online outlets. Social media channels for celebrities and influencers are another popular medium. In normal times, we can generate speaker opportunities and support sponsorships and trade shows. We oversee photoshoots and video production. From websites to brochures and from social media captions to blog pieces, we write them! We design websites and curate social content. We are master jugglers!


PR isn’t just used for positive storytelling. It’s also used to mitigate any damage that could weaken a client’s reputation. As Gerald Ratner (a former client whose reputation I resurrected while at a big agency) could attest to, a global company can be destroyed in an instant by one gaffe. And when the chips are down, any PR worth his or her salt has the issues covered.