PR versus Advertising – a Humorous Approach


Questions are always being raised about which of these two approaches are the most important.

In 1902 Ambrose Bierce wrote in his excellent book – The Devil’s Dictionary that the Art of Business is to extract money from another man’s pocket to yours without resorting to violence.

Thus what’s fair in love and war goes. IMHO this means using every available technique to persuade the customer to part with his money. Advertising & PR being just two techniques. In Retail they use shop layout, merchandising, music and even smell to do that. Maslow also said that definitions create lenses through which we look at problems.

I am much more for holistic approaches to problems, or to Convergence of techniques, tools & methods.

Here is a humorous approach to defining the difference:

  1. Not advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark, you know you are doing it, she doesn’t
  2. Last week a business downtown advertised for a night watchman; and the following night they were robbed.
  3. You’re at a party.If a member of the opposite sex tells you he/she is a great lover, that’s advertising.If a member of the opposite sex asks you about your bedroom “interests” and shows how he/she fits the profile, that’s marketing.If a member of the opposite sex walks up to you and says “I hear you’re fantastic in bed” — that’s PR.
  4. How many PRO’s does it take to screw in a light bulb? One to realize this is an important event.One to create a PR program to let the public know about it. One to write the news release. One to distribute it to the media. One to schedule a news conference. One to write the speech. One to twitter about it. One to blog about it…..and Google to move it along!

And finally,

Size does count: As the cock said to the hens when he held up an ostrich egg: I am not disparaging,

neither am I criticising; I am merely bringing to your attention what is being done elsewhere.

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