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Claire, actually PR pros can effectively use advertising (an activity) when they aren't getting a fair shake from the media (think MobileExxon/oil spill, etc.). It's a tool used to NOT promote, but to tell "their side" of the story to the public (or their specific publics depending on where the ad is placed). Advertising for PR had been successful, but it's not a typically used tool. Another way to think of advertising and PR is PSAs.

Also, it would be a mistake to lump PR advertising in with corporate/marketing advertising because they fulfill a different objective and as such need their own budget/measurement and ROI.

Nikki, glad you liked it! Thank you.

Beth, this is a fabulous post! I wish every company that still believes public relations is synonymous with media relations could read this.

I'm so glad you suggested doing away with pitching and focusing more on telling stories. When people ask me to explain public relations, I always refer to the storytelling function of my job. I've been making a conscious effort to remove "pitch" from my vocabulary because it signifies one-way communication, when really every company and PR pro should be focused on creating two-way dialogue.

Great post with one exception: the list of PR disciplines. Advertising is a 'tell' discipline, distinct from the dialogue-based skills of PR. It's a tool to be used rather than a PR discipline. By contrast, that most vital of skills, internal communications, hasn't meritted a place. It's covered in the 'first steps' below, but in the current media climate merits top-line billing.

This may help?

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