Advertising and public relations: sometimes we ask what the difference is. Sometimes it seems more than that; PR vs advertising in a battle of the ages. But we are mistaken to think that the two are so different or work against each other. In fact, the two probably need each other more than you might think.
While many purists remain on both sides, still more have seen the light and realized that, in some cases, it’s extremely important to create advertising and public relations campaigns that go hand in hand strategically.
Don’t believe me? In 1993, when Jack in the Box restaurants suffered a crippling E. coli outbreak, advertising guru Dick Sittig created a new ad campaign that featured an updated, business attired mascot (the Jack that we all know and love today). When paired with an industry-leading food safety initiative, the combined powers of advertising and public relations kept the company out of bankruptcy and revived an otherwise struggling brand.
How did it happen, you ask? Well, to be perfectly honest, all it took was a little thought. You see, the key to a successful marriage between advertising and public relations lies in this thought process: Where does one fall short and the other excel?
In the Jack in the Box case, an entertaining mascot updates the brand while creating buzz through humorous TV spots – something that would not have been properly conveyed in the traditional press. At the same time, a state of the art food safety program establishes the company’s credibility when it’s covered by third-party media.
It all comes down to strategy – and a little thought. When used in conjunction, advertising and public relations can do great things for a brand.