The assessment might be that advertising was too inexpensive or unlikely to be effective. It has been known for some organisations to use PR techniques only. For example, the Royal National Life-boat Institution has little money to spare on advertising, and was grateful to W.D. & H.O. Wills for sponsoring a film about the lifeboat service that was so genuinely entertaining that it was accepted by cinema circuits for screening with Julius Ceasar. Here we find PRo-and mutual PR in this case– doing a job which the RNLI could not afford to do itself. In fact, that feature film documentary was probably more effective than a short commercial with production, print and rental costs which would have been prohibitive for the RNLI
In quoting the above example it is not intended to imply that PR is a. cheap substitute for advertising, but rather to demonstrate that in certain circumstances PR can be a better technique, possibly even better value for money. In the case quoted the feature film versus the screen advertisement has to be seen as the counterpart of the feature article versus the display advertisement. The PR and advertising techniques are different, and one may be better than the other in particular circumstances. So far as the RNLI was concerned, the Wills film about a rescue operation was both a substantial PR effort and a gift. But even if the RNLI had itself paid for the production of the documentary film it would have been a more economic and probably more effective medium than a commercial filmlet because the need was to educate the cinema audience about the voluntary work of the Institute and so explain its dependence upon donations. On the other hand, good use of straight advertising techniques is made on flag days with posters, collecting boxes and trays for flags.
Public relations is a much bigger subject than advertising but the two often come closely together, as in the lifeboat instnace. The advertising on flag day can succeed much more readily if the public are appreciative of the need for donations because of what they have learned from PR exercises like the Wills film. The subject of PR is discussed’ in an introductory manner in a separate chapter. At this point we shall differentiate between advertising and PR by examining the well-known definition adopted by the Institute of Public Relations:
Public relations practice is the deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understandin.g between an organisation and its public
The word ‘understanding’ is the key to an interpretation of PR, and this is clearly quite different from the ‘selling motive’ of advertising. The relationship between PR and advertising is that unless people understand an organisation or its products there can be no goodwill, and advertising may be a waste of money and so fail to sell. Thus, PR can have the effect of making advertising work. This is because customers are more likely to be persuaded to buy something they know about and trust. It can, therefore, be a very costly, uphill task to sell by salesmanship and advertising alone, and PR can be directed at both the trade and at the consumer and so break the inertia caused by ignorance, prejudice, prejudice or hostility
Propaganda is a curious word with pleasant and unpleasant associations. To propagate means to multiply or disseminate, as when we increase the number of plants in the garden, or spread ideas and gain adherents. Propagating the Gospels, and the Nazi propaganda machine, are contrasting uses of the term. Nor should we forget that the Ministry of Information was also a propaganda machine
In some respects it resembles advertising, but it is hardly the same thing if we are precise about the use of terms. Propaganda has to do with ideas, beliefs, convictions, opinions. It is not necessarily emotional and it can be perfectly sincere. To promote the idea of hygiene is to use propaganda, but to promote the sale of a brand of soap we have to use advertising. And to tell the story of the soap manufacturer or to explain how soap is made, and to teach people its many uses, we use the techniques of public relations. There are subtle but distinct and definable differences between these three forms of communication. Yet it is .A not unusual to hear people use all three words at different times to mean the same thing.
The definition is therefore: Propaganda is the means of known in order to gain support for making an opinion, creed or belief
Marketing is the management function which organises and directs all those business activities involved in assessing and converting customer purchasing power into effective demand for a specific product or service, and in moving the product or service to the final consumer or user so as to achieve the profit target or other objectives set by a company.
Long definitions are not easily remembered and the merit of a good definition is that it is readily recalled, so let us consider a simpler one from David Malbert, City Editor of the London Evening Standard. He says: marketing is producing and selling at a profit goods that satisfy customers
Producing selling, satisfying at a profit sums up marketing beautifully
In these definitions the old idea of trying to make a profit out of selling what the company has made is replaced by the modern concept of producing and selling at a profit what people want.
This involves research and development (R&D) and market research (MR) to discover what will sell. This, too, may mean creating a new product to satisfy an as yet unreleased want–this was true of television, washing machines, detergents, and double glazing-or one to satisfy an expressed want such as a rodenticide, or better brakes for faster cars. Just because the market cannot demand something which does not yet exist, but could be beneficial and desirable if it did, does not mean that demand should not be created. This has to be said because advertising has been criticised–usually by parsons and teachers for stirring up materialistic and greedy demands, for making people buy. what they don’t want, but is it more appropriate to see advertising as the agent of marketing? The combination of advertising and marketing, that is making known things that can satisfy customers, has consistently expanded choice and raised
standards of living.