The Various Distinguishing Factors of Press Releases vs. Advertising


Many companies avail tools such as press releases and advertising to meet their sales goals. But press releases vs. advertising is a topic that is quite common.

Press Releases vs. Advertising

In this digital world, a company with high sales means that they use quality marketing strategies. Marketing strategies include press releases and advertising for the most part. It is important to capture the market and the target audience. These marketing tools have been around for ages only their formats have changed over the years. Press releases vs. advertising is a topic that finds a lot of attention in the field of business and marketing. It is mainly because many people think they are the same thing with different names. But let me tell you, they are completely different in approach and function although they have the same goal.

Let us break down the differences between PR and advertising.


Press Release- A PR is a news related to a company that is published through media houses to get the attention of the audiences. A PR may consist of any news about the company aiming to raise brand awareness and its popularity in the market. It can also be used to make announcements about internal changes through a formal draft.

Advertising- The method aims at selling products to consumers. Advertising consists of a tailored message which aims at attracting the relevant audience stream to buy from the company. Advertising is one of the most popular and old-school methods of marketing resulting in sales.

Thus, both advertising and PR are marketing tools that aim at attracting target consumers and increasing brand recognition and sales.

Press releases vs. Advertising

Cost- Companies are always looking for sustainable cost margins for their marketing plans. PR publishing is very affordable. But just doing that will not get you your desired results. Your company also needs to have a strong digital presence for the PR to reach a wide audience range.

Advertising, on the other hand, costs a lot more than traditional PRs. The agencies that print or publish your ad may charge a lot of money for things like time and space slots. Although high pricing is a concern, companies must also remember that an advertisement can influence the purchasing behaviors of consumers. Hence, if you want high sales returns, you must invest in your advertisement plans wisely.

Audience- The difference is quite large. Since press releases are an announcement or news, they do not have specific targets in terms of audiences. Anyone with an interest in media and news will come across a PR. A PR cannot influence the buying instincts of the readers.

Advertising runs on targeted audiences. Also, advertisements are followed by those who are interested in purchasing as well. Ads aim at delivering product details from every perspective so that the target audience can make an informed decision about a future purchase.

Lifespan- Since a PR is news, its validity is limited. News is a very populated area of information. Hence, their lifespan can be very short if considered as a marketing tool for a company. Its relevance before the market and the audience is also lost very fast.

Advertisements can benefit companies for long periods. If the product does not change, the basic format of ads can remain the same for years. A commercial may change its shape depending on trends and market demands, but ads stay relevant even years down the line.

Content- The content of a PR is written in a strictly professional or formal tone. It has to be precise and sort so that it attracts journalists within the first minute. Formatting is another important aspect of a PR that must be accurate to stand out.

The content part of an ad can be written informally. It is persuasive in tone and enables the audience towards purchasing. Unlike PR content, advertising has many formats. Marketers and writers can put in their creative ideas to the fullest with an ad. Hence, an ad always has more scope as opposed to a press release.


After having laid down the differences between a PR and an advertisement, we know that they have the same goals but different approaches. It depends on the company which one they want to go with based on their situation, budget, etc. The debate is never-ending, but in the long vision, press releases win hands down.