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Advertising versus publicity and PR – which is better?

An inch of editorial is worth a page of advertising. So, well-placed publicity items provide a low cost means of telling the your story, reporting positive news and enhancing reputation. It’s like free advertising.

I recommend creating a programme of publicity/PR opportunities for 6-12 months going forward across the business overall but also focusing on specific products and initiatives. I envisage generating a publicity/PR story about once a quarter on average.

In particular, I’d want to achieve editorial coverage in the media that’s read by the people the business most wants to influence: past, present and potential customers.

Publicity and public relations would be a key component of customer acquisition and retention.

Through publicity/PR we can

  • Create an environment where the business name and products become more familiar to and recognised by customers and people we want as customers
  • Raise profile, reinforce reputation and enhance brand values
  • Develop relationships with key journalists at target media

The publicity/PR might include, for example:

  • Examples of work – local & regional as well as national & international
  • Contacts won and client testimonials
  • Launch of latest product/service
  • Established x years
  • Corporate news – e.g. new arrivals, retirements, departures, awards, management and Board changes, meet our new team
  • Joint ventures/Case studies

These stories will be targeted at local, business, specialist and sector-specific publications because:

  • This is what present and past customers read… and so it keeps the company name, brand and products close to and in the thinking of core audiences
  • These publications are read by suppliers, stakeholders and business & industry communities
  • Positive publicity builds reputation, “presence” and brand
  • It’s free advertising!

The purpose of publicity/P.R is to develop mutual understanding and goodwill between your enterprise and its various audiences. It’s about building and managing reputation.


Create a rolling programme of pre-planned publicity/PR opportunities for 6-12 months going forward.

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