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4 reasons PR firms and ad agencies should be separate

By Marjorie Comer

For more information why you shouldn't hire an advertising firm to do PR, see The size of a PR department in an advertising firm


Don’t make the same mistake many companies make when it comes to PR.


PR and ads work best when seperated.

One mistake that companies often make when hiring a public relations firm is hiring an ad agency that dabbles in PR. While this may seem like the best of both worlds, it’s far from it. Often, ad agencies that say they do PR end up recommending mostly advertising programs (at an additional cost) while you’re still paying a PR retainer. This can end up costing you more money than a PR campaign. Don’t fall prey to hiring an ad agency masquerading as PR professionals. It’s mistake #2 of the 15 mistakes companies make when hiring a PR firm.

Here are four reasons you should keep your PR firm and advertising agency separate.

  1. PR builds a brand; advertising supports it.
    Don’t let an ad agency fool you. How often do you, as a consumer, ignore an advertisement because it’s easy to press the fast forward button, change the channel, and flip the magazine page? People are more likely to believe and trust a news story about a thought-leader than an advertisement.
  1. PR firms have experts.
    When you hire an ad agency, you’re hiring experts in buying advertisements. You aren’t getting a team solely dedicated to ensuring your company and spokespeople are thought-leaders in your industry.
  1. Ad agencies are costly.
    An ad agency will make recommendations for an advertising program, which is an additional cost to your company. This, of course, is on top of the PR retainer you still have to pay.
  1. PR reaches more people.
    In today’s digital age, media outlets publish more and more articles online, even as they continue to publish in print. These articles often stay online a decade or even longer, while a print advertisement never publishes online – it’s seen once and that’s it. What's more, people don’t typically share ads on social media (unless they’re controversial).

Axia Public Relations became strictly a PR firm years ago so we could focus on doing what we do best: being experts in our industry and ensuring that our clients have the best results and media contacts. Start by hiring a PR firm that specializes in media relations to build your brand. We offer the tools and resources you need to become a thought-leader in your industry. If you're stuck with an advertising agency that dabbles in PR instead of a PR firm dedicated to your company's needs, watch our media and spokesperson training webinar to help you gain your footing.

Spokesperson Training Webinar

marjorie-comer-axia-pr.jpgMarjorie Comer is an award-winning PR professional. She graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Marjorie has worked for Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Follow her on Twitter @Marjorie_Comer. Learn more about Marjorie Comer.



Featured image credit: 123rf.com

Topics: public relations

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