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  • Dirk Foster

Public Relations Versus Advertising. It’s a Matter of Trust.

Updated: Jul 15, 2019



Richard Branson, the business magnate who founded Virgin Airlines, is quoted as saying: “A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.”


If anyone knows a thing or two about public relations it’s Richard Branson. He’s one of the most successful and FAMOUS businessmen in the world. And most of his fame and success came from ingenious publicity campaigns that made him practically a household name.


So the question is why PR worked for Branson and others like him (hello, Kim Kardashian)? Why does public relations often work better for branding and marketing than traditional advertising?


One word: TRUST.


Many people simply don’t trust advertising anymore. How many times a day are you bombarded with a barrage of print ads, web ads, phone ads, email ads, billboard ads and on and on? After a while the human mind just starts to shut itself off from the constant sales pitch of a million different products and companies.


This isn’t to suggest that advertising doesn’t have a place in your marketing mix. It certainly does, especially if you have a large budget to work with.


But most people are sophisticated enough to know that an advertisement is not in the least bit objective or impartial. But a story written by a journalist or influencer is much more likely to be trusted and absorbed by the customers you want to reach.


Submitting a well-crafted press kit to targeted media and social media influencers is one of the most effective ways of creating buzz and nurturing trust about your product, brand or event. People simply put more trust into reading interesting stories (or reviews) by people who are objective about the subject they’re writing about.


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