Rarely a day goes by without someone mistaking my job in strategic communications and public relations – where I do this – with advertising and/or marketing.
I’ve used about a dozen metaphors and stories over the years to explain the difference, but recently came across my new favorite. In a Forbes.com post titled “Breaking News: Public Relations Is Not Advertising,” Ashley Murphy, Director of Public Relations at Stribling & Associates, wrote:
"If a young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is -- that’s advertising. If the young man tells his date she’s intelligent, looks lovely and is a great conversationalist, he’s saying the right things to the right person and that’s marketing. If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is -- that’s PR."
So, next time you see me, feel free to ask the difference. You are getting this story as an explanation. Unless, that is, you have your own clever way of helping people understand what we do? If so, share away!