Public Relation (PR) is not about partying, gossiping, exchanging cards, or schmoozing with a glass of champagne in hand. PR can be a powerful way to generate awareness and name recognition for any business.
The media is always in hunt of interesting news stories. Publicity in the media is more credible than advertising. Many big players are relatively light purchasers of advertising but heavy proponents of PR. There are many organizations that do very minimal of advertising, but are frequently featured in business magazines and the general press, which carries tremendous credibility.
Noticeably, public relations can make a long-lasting impact on public awareness at a small part of the cost of advertising. Getting publicity through PR is low cost and sometimes even free, and is considered to be a low-cost alternative and more effective to other marketing tactics such as traditional advertising and media buying.
In case of PR, the organization does not pay for the space or time, it gets in the media, but only pays for the PR person to develop and circulate stories and manage certain events. If the company develops an attention-grabbing story, it could be picked up by all the news media and be worth millions of Rupees in equivalent advertising. Besides, it would have more credibility than advertising as it is the process by which one can create a positive image and customer preference through third-party endorsement. Some experts say that consumers are five times more likely influenced by editorial copy than by advertising.
Advertising, no matter how intelligent, witty, dramatic or aesthetically pleasing, is self-promotion. People are very skeptical of ads. Furthermore, advertising is very expensive, especially if you have a big market to cover. On the other hand, PR goes through a filtering process. The editor or reporter scrutinizes the information before publishing, and picks the matter which is newsworthy and thus has more credibility. What PR lacks is its no control over how the media presents your information. But, the crisis management can rectify the negative coverage. Besides, media is not compelled to cover your event or publish your press release just because you sent something to them.
Advertising claims, uses refinement, comparisons, and borrows from the arts and psychology to try to influence decisions. But, PR is based in information, not seduction.
So, PR is better than any marketing tool including advertising. The creative use of news events, publications, social events, community relations, and other PR techniques offers companies a way to distinguish themselves and their products from their competitors and build their brand.