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Basic Knowledge To Publicize Your Business in Japan (PR)

The Difference between Advertisement and PR@`Case in Japan`
  • Advertisement and PR are often confused with one another, so I need to make things clear by stating that I do not intend to explain how to make your advertisement effective. What I would like to convey in this article is the substance of "PR activity," which is having your product/services directly covered and broadcast.
  • The precise definition of the word "PR" would go astray from the point of this article, so I will use the words "PR activity" as meaning of "activity for inviting media coverage," unless further mentioned.
  • However, it is crucial to clarify the difference between "advertisement" and "Public Relation; PR". Now, let me introduce two major methods that are used to broadcast information and/or products /services on television.
  • Purchasing air time and have the information which you wish to be aired (advertisement).
  • Addressing the information of your products/services to be aired on television during a program (PR activity).
  • "Advertisement" and "PR" both have their pros and cons. While advertisement allows you to broadcast exactly what you want and when you want to the viewers, the effectiveness could be too small, unless you spend tremendous amounts of money and time airing the same information over and over, until the information is imprinted in the viewers' minds.
  • Information that is reported during a program, which is the result of your PR activity, cannot be freely manipulated or controlled in terms of when it will be aired, but it would be introduced through the program as useful information to the viewers and it would have an immediate effect. Most of us have experienced the urge to go to the place that has been introduced on a television program once, haven't you? When you recall your own experience, the difference is clear.
  • TV Commercial time = Bathroom break time
  • Featured information on the program = Interesting content
  • Why is that?
  • Advertisement is ultimately pushy sales by companies who can afford the tremendous expense of airing the information they want you to have. No matter how many times they say "it's delicious!", if the viewers do not feel interested, their reactions would be "so what?" at best. We all know it is natural for a manufacturer to describe their product as "delicious."
  • On the other hand, if a gourmet reporter calls raves over and over "it is delicious!" the viewers should also feel the same urge and say "I would like to have it!" Although both advertisement (commercial) and featured information (PR) both convey information, these differences arise because of the credibility of the information selected by a third party is greater than that of the self-advertisement. In reality, it is said the persuasive power of PR is two to three times more than that of a self-paid advertisement.
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