PR Versus Advertising – A Journalist Strikes Back


A big misconception many have is that PR is advertising. True, it’s a form of marketing and yes, often (especially these days) a nimble PR firm works in social media, can handle ad buys, etc. BUT, PR is not advertising.

Press releases should be looked at as doing a service for the reporter, who does a service for their readers. The release should be about something newsworthy and relevant to that reporter’s area of coverage (some basic tips on this on our blog here). While some trade media will print releases almost verbatim, that’s not the case with every editorial outlet. The release should be informative, not boastful, and provide information on relevant news for that reporter’s area of coverage. That news could be a big local hire, ground breaking technology, a recent trend or something entirely different.

Reporters are not sitting around waiting for the PR or marketing person’s emails. Similarly, they may not be into your brand or story. It happens (more on that here). It actually happens a lot.


Don’t take our word for it though, check out this Facebook post by a newspaper editor who received a press release (and some editorial guidance) from an unnamed marketing person.




















This was borrowed from Jim Romenesko’s blog. You can see the full story here.


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