Skip to main content

Advertising and PR – a partnership not a competition

03 March 2017

“Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”

But can you afford to simply ‘pray’?

Many companies view advertising and PR as a ‘one or the other’ option. But choosing advertising over PR isn’t always the best way to get your company noticed. Using both these methods, as well as other forms of marketing, is much more effective when they form part of cohesive campaign; there isn’t really a competition.

Most articles on this subject only discuss the differences between advertising and PR and how only one can be beneficial in achieving a company’s business objectives depending on what the objectives are. Most went into detail about how advertising is used to promote a company’s products through various types of media, whereas PR is used to create a beneficial relationship between the company and the customer, as well as raise the profile of the company and position the brand.

While advertising and PR are two very different methods of marketing (indeed two different industries), they both have the same goal – to promote a company, its brand and its products. However, despite the differences, they often go hand in hand and better results are achieved when you use both rather than just one.

But why is it more beneficial to have both?

Relying on advertising alone does not always work, especially in the B2B sector. When you advertise your company’s capabilities you are making a promise to potential customers. However, if you do not have other marketing collateral and PR to back this up, such as case studies, press releases or an active and informative online presence, your promise of a good service may seem empty and unreliable.

When entering a proposal for a contract, it is always a good idea to be able to assure a potential customer that you can handle the job by presenting them with the evidence to support your claims so that your company is seen as credible and reputable.

In addition, press coverage and an active digital and social media presence will raise awareness for your company, so that when a potential customer sees your advert they are more likely to be aware of your company already. Again, this creates the image of a dependable and reliable reputation for your company.

Furthermore, a range of different content such as case studies, blog posts and press releases on your website will help with your search engine ranking. Google’s algorithms changed some time ago to rank those sites with good authoritative content higher, and with good content that is regularly updated, you will find your website becoming a lot more visible and easily found.  

As well as increasing your pull from potential customers, investing in both advertising and PR gives you the benefits of both areas. With advertising, your brand name is more visible in the right target audiences and you get the guaranteed coverage as well as having more freedom and flexibility as you control advertising content and when it will be released. With PR, you are showing potential clients that what you promote in your advertising is credible as well as conveying additional information about the personality of your business and what it stands for.   

It may appear costly to invest in both PR and advertising, but the rewards can be worth it, especially if you can achieve both in the same publication through advertorials. Often these will be around special feature editions in a magazine and will give you the opportunity to talk about the products and services that give your business its competitive edge. 

When you are choosing your marketing activities and channels, don’t just look at one option over another. Make your campaigns cohesive and consistent as well as creative, and your customers and prospects will take notice. 


If you want to find out more about Bridge’s PR services, or if you have some bought advertorial space and need some help with writing the content for it, get in touch by phoning us on: 02476520025.

Back to Blog Listings