PR vs Advertising: What is the Difference?

Do you know the difference between Advertising and PR?

This is important for a business or company that is trying to reach out to its target audience internationally. 

The main difference between PR and advertising is how the results are achieved

  • PR results are achieved by providing information to a journalist
  • Advisement uses advertorial (a combination of “advertisement” and “editorial”) coverage. 

PR and advertising can work together with the business for business as a strategic plan; however, working together does not mean their process is the same.


The goal of PR campaigns is to build brand reputation and gain coverage. This is achieved through a series of creative campaigns, press releases, and product reach outs. 

This positions brands as industry leaders and builds trust with consumers. Similarly, a digital PR campaign encapsulates the things mentioned previously as well as having a goal to gain links from highly trusted sources that will boost SEO.


Within PR, it works toward a bigger picture and has long-term goals. An advantage in PR is to produce a press release and pitch it to various publications through media relations. 

The journalist that was pitched will then use the materials in different ways that link back to your business. This allows people to repeatedly see the brand name which will reinforce the brand’s value and message.

Advertising is done with more short-term goals. As is usually seasonal and relied on timing when purchasing is relevant and high. Advertisement repetition is different from PR. Ads can be used as many times as needed depending on the budget, however, they can only be shown in places where the coverage is bought.


Many PR agencies work to develop strategies that are relevant and newsworthy in press releases, content marketing, asocial media, and publication trade. 

This level of outreach is achieved through pitching to different media contact and building up a brand’s online presence to reach new audiences. These are “earned” media placements rather than paying for them.

Paid Advertisement from BRANDs

Both are acceptable and achievable means to gain coverage.

However, PR is more of an effective way for brands to reach not only their current audience but new ones as well and gain coverage.

Other Points

Whether your company chooses PR or advertisement, it is important to create a plan.

If you want more information, click here for how to build costumer trust, the press release process in Japan, or different strategies to help enter the Japanese market.