Forbes just published a piece discussing, in some detail, “the real difference between PR and advertising.”
This realness in difference begins with an old saying: “Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.” Or, boiled down even further, advertising is paid media, public relations is earned media.
A simple maxim from a simpler time. But does it hold up today?
Author Robert Wynne believes that it does. Not only is PR still different from advertising — it’s still better.
“With advertising, you tell people how great you are. With publicity, others sing your praises. Which do you think is more effective?” asks Wynne.
The unspoken answer is supported by a 2014 Nielsen study on the role of content in the consumer decision-making process, which concluded that PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising: “On average, expert content lifted familiarity 88 percent more than branded content…”
Expert sources also agree.