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The increased emphasis on money in the promotional industry and greater market competition have resulted in the line between Public Relations and Advertising as product stimulation tools being blurred.

Explaining to the layperson why the two are different in terms of approach is difficult because the mechanism is essentially the same: pay the agency to get yourself promoted. However, as an entrepreneur, not only must you be fluent in the differences between the two, but also in how to use them in conjunction to improve conversion rates from viewers to customers. As of July 2018, it was observed that over the past three years the number of PR agencies increased by 30%, but 71% of journalists felt that the public did not trust them as much as they did before. One plausible way to proceed forward in such uncertain circumstances is to strategically plan a budget and team for using PR and advertising together, and the following techniques will assist you in getting started on this venture.

1. Effective Control On Media

Controlling the media does not necessarily mean that your products and services are enjoying immunity from competition; it basically means that you are spending more on promotion. While on a budget, your business will not have the liberty to spend uncontrollably on TV advertisements, plus doing so may be fruitless given how the average TV viewing time for people aged 18-24 has dropped by 10 hours since 2011.

Therefore, instead of multiple advertisements, work on a few which are well thought out and appear interesting. Such ads usually include elements such as practicality, relatability to the common user, humor, and incorporation of globally circulating ideas such as gender equality.

With PR, on the other hand, you cannot establish control over what exactly the press will print on your behalf. However, note that absolute control over making your business launches appear perfect will not only add a hint of artificiality in the words mentioned, but will cost you more for presenting a predetermined viewpoint through a third party actor. It is, afterall, quite unnatural for nobody to have material to critique on a product/service, so let the creativity of PR agencies guide you instead of forcing an opinion.

2. Understand The Customers

Today, your aim should not be to promote yourself as the best, it should be to get yourself endorsed as one of the best. There are a few essentials for getting such endorsements:

  • Quality Maintenance: A product/service which is not consistent or generally unliked by consumers cannot garner positive support;
  • Credible Third-Party: Target markets follow a few news sources and online forums for product analysis, so try and figure out what those platforms are and direct your PR efforts towards them;
  • Usage, Not Greatness: Why is your product the need of the hour for a family/office/individual? How is it different from the cheaply available alternatives? Questions of such nature need to be answered for credible endorsements.

Customers can instantly differentiate between something that is being advertised baselessly, and something coming from credible authority. The balance you need to look for is to use standard advertising for products which have already attained consumer confidence over time only, so that their presence in the market can be sustained.

As far as new launches are concerned, get them covered in reputable magazines and social media sites, get testimonials from the initial consumer base, and think of innovative ways to make them stay instead of spending on advertisements in hopes of a miracle happening.

3. Get Figures And Visuals To Back Your Product

Quantifying how your business launch can assist users is much better than simply using adjectives to describe how helpful it is. Customers are not interested in technical details such as the power of a new engine, the complex machinery that went into making a product, etc; they are interested in how it compares with the competing items around.

You should opt for a comparative approach if you intend to tackle existing competition in the market. For comparison, using both PR and advertisements, detail out how your product will give consumers an edge in the following aspects:

  • Cost Savings: Customers love getting details on every penny that they can save, especially in relation to something they had been using previously;
  • Performance Enhancement: The usefulness of a product can only be described when it is compared to something, otherwise it may appear as an extra expense to many possible customers;
  • Before And After: Displaying results before and after your launch comes into use can give an end goal to the customers, which they can imagine and work towards.

Compared to press releases and critiques, you will have to take a more concise approach in the advertisements. 15-30 seconds packed with an advocative but humble voice, inspiring facts and figures, and some wholesome humor can make your TV/Social Media ads outstanding.


As a business owner you should come to terms with the fact that PR and Advertising are complementary to each other. Invest in creating specialist teams for both factions of product promotion, do not give leverage to one over the other based on how one is working better in contemporary times, and let your creativity do your talking.