Advantages of Public Relations
Public relations offers several advantages not found with other promotional options. First, PR is often considered a highly credible form of promotion. One of PR’s key points of power rests with helping to establish credibility for a product, company or person (e.g., CEO) in the minds of targeted customer groups by capitalizing on the influence of a third-party -- the media. Audiences view many media outlets as independent-party sources that are unbiased in their coverage, meaning that the decision to include the name of the company and the views expressed about the company is not based on payment (i.e., advertisement) but on the media outlet’s judgment of what is important. For example, a positive story about a new product in the business section of a local newspaper may have greater impact on readers than a full-page advertisement for the product since readers perceive the news media as presenting an impartial perspective of the product.
Second, a well-structured PR campaign can result in the target market being exposed to more detailed information than they receive with other forms of promotion. That is, media sources often provide more space and time for explanation of a product.
Third, depending on the media outlet, a story mentioning a company may be picked up by a large number of additional media, thus, spreading a single story to many locations.
Finally, in many cases public relations objectives can be achieved at very low cost when compared to other promotional efforts. This is not to suggest public relations is not costly, it may be, especially when a marketer hires PR professionals to handle the work. But when compared to the direct cost of other promotions, in particular advertising, the return on promotional expense can be quite high.