Advertising and public relations (PR) is a part of a brand’s or an organization’s marketing communication efforts. A company sells its products and services to people and wants them to know about it. To spread the message about the brand’s benefits, it communicates to the target audience in different ways. It creates advertising campaigns on television, print, radio or digital mediums. It does events on ground. It also tries to gain relevant media coverage to stay in the news for all the right reasons. Public relations majorly work in the area of creating a positive image of the brand and create strong and meaningful relationships with the audience. Advertising is a paid form of communication while public relations is a free form of communications and depends largely on the media relations of the company. While aspirants of advertising get trained through specialised courses meant for advertising, the public relations aspirants can enrol themselves in a PR management course.
Any person who is interested in the field of marketing can work in either of the two fields. Since both of these fields broadly belong to marketing communications, it is possible that as a marketing communication professional, one gets to work in both of these fields over a period of time. If a person likes to create compelling content and in general is good with social skills, he can enjoy being in this highly exciting field which requires some level of creativity, some talent and a good dose of social skills.
A career in advertising and public relations is generally fast-paced in nature and can bring a lot of excitement on the table. A professional of this field gets to launch several brands and manage events. He gets to create content that will be out in public and everyone will get to see it. It is a constantly innovating job and requires fresh ideas. This type of career needs a person to be versatile. It requires a person to keep himself updated on the latest trends and technologies popular among the target audiences.
Both of the fields aim towards increasing the interest of the customer towards the brand. For that, they do a range of activities that allow the brand to register itself in the customer’s mind, create a positive impact on him and pique his interest. It also communicates the benefits the brand can provide to the customer upon purchase and subsequent usage. It helps in creating sales leads and eventually convert sales with the help of the sales team. Hence, advertising aims at creating brand awareness and recognition. It helps the marketing and sales teams to do their job and achieve the targets. While public relations work on the side ensuring there is positive information about the brand in the news.
There is a range of careers to go within the advertising and public relations. In advertising, a person could go for account management and deal with the clients to understand their requirement and create a brief for the creative teams. He can act as a mediator between the client and the agency. The creative department comes with up the concept and designs for any advertising campaign. The production department works on the actual production of the concept, for example, shooting an advertisement. Finally, the media team is responsible for the placement of the advertising campaign inappropriate media as per its target group.
In public relations, there is a broad range of careers suited to different personality types. A publicist is a person who is responsible for creating publicity campaigns and identifying the best way to promote a brand to both the media as well as the customers. A copywriter in public relations is a person who is responsible for creating the content for publicity and marketing material. There is a role known as a PR specialist. A PR specialist’s job is to act as the single point of contact for media companies like print publications, news channels etc. With the advent of digital media, today public relations agencies also hire a social media manager who is responsible for promoting the brand meaningfully on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn etc. as well as relevant websites. In addition, there is a spokesperson who is the face of the brand. He is responsible for making any official statements about the brand to the media.
Public relations and advertising functions are performed by a company through outside agencies. These agencies specialise in these areas. A professional can either work for an agency or work on the client-side as well. Personal skills like creativity, an aptitude for research, planning skills, strategic thinking and good communication skills are important requisites if one wants to make a career in either public relations or advertising.