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            Advertising had been one of the activities associated with public relations, but is it really PR? Does it exactly mean that Public Relations can also be advertising? In this module, we will differentiate PR and advertising. You will also learn how they are connected or how advertising can help a PR proposal.




  1. To differentiate PR and advertising.
  2. To show the meaning of advertising.
  3. To show how advertising and PR are related.


What is advertising?


            There are lots of definitions you can read or see in a book about what advertising really is. Before we identify what advertising really is, let’s take a look at some examples of an advertisement:



Other example of advertising:


  1. Institutional advertising- encourages people to volunteer or donate money or services or simply to improve the image of an institution doing the advertising.


  1. Political advertising- used for electoral campaigns in many countries. Also called press advertisements.



When did advertising started?


            Evidence of advertising can be found in cultures that existed thousands of years ago, but advertising only became a major industry in the 20th century. Commercial messages have been found in the ruins of Pompeii, but the first advertising agency was started by Volney Palmer in Philadelphia in 1843.

            The first television advertisement appeared on a Sunday 28 of September. The first advertising campaign cost $4.9 million and was designed to reach eligible Australians. Advertisements were translated into 18 languages in the press, 20 languages on radio and 12 languages for television. In addition, advertisements were broadcast on the radio for the Print Handicapped.




            An advertorial page costs the same as an advertising page. Both of this cost more than zero media cost of a press release. So, when does one form become preferable over the others? To see why you would choose an advertorial approach over advertising and press releases, think about the following:

  1. Your product is not inherently newsworthy and therefore of little or no editorial interest.
  2. Your product is linked to a current issue that could be used to leverage it into editorial.
  3. Your product has not inherently altered in any way, making it difficult to justify an ad spend.
  4. Your product requires explanation or education-too many messages for advertising and too cumbersome for editorial.
  5. Your product has vastly different appeal in individual markets, requiring numerous artwork and material changes for advertising.

Who should create them?


            Increasingly, the values and messages contained within advertorials are becoming the domain of PR. It is PR that builds relationships, that uses influencers to add credibility an today, it is increasingly PR that connects people with brands. It is also PR that thinks ‘education’ and ‘information’-which is what good advertorials are all about.

              Therefore, it is the PR consultancy that should be given task of crafting the messages into the individual editorial syles of the selected publications. It is not an announcement or commercial message. Rather, it is the opprtunity to relate to individuals in a way that builds trust through credebility.

              Mobil oil has used advertorials for more than 20 years for public relations purposes.The Minnesota Law Review described such corporate advertising as a "hybrid creature desinged to use the means of paid advertising to accomplish goals of Public Relations.


"It's not the tool that defines Public Relations but the purpose to which it is put'" says Paul S. Forbes, chairman emiritus of the Forbes Group.


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