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November 19, 2010
PR or Advertising? Insights From New Zealand
From New Zealand comes a cogent update of the perennial discussion of the differences between public relations and advertising and the role of each. Mark Irving, of Range Advertising and Communications, writes in The New Zealand Herald that "A good agency shouldn't have a pre-determined policy of which medium works best."

irving makes this helpful distinction: "if a client has just created a new product that will change the lives of thousands, this could be a newsworthy item and could make the evening news -- great PR. But if you're a retailer like it or not, sustained advertising or repetition, rather than one off ads is what works best. In this case, PR is no substitute for advertising."

Spotlight versus repeated exposure. Each has a role. Coordination matters greatly.

He also has pertinent things to say about creativity, which sometimes is viewed as though it's solely a forced-draft, group process. 

"I'd caution against telling people to generate ideas with others in a room, without individuals having time to think through ideas by themselves," Irving writes.

Indeed, it's the job of a good manager to nurture creatives wherever they are found -- in their cubicles, a conference room or the lunchroom, maybe even a bar.  

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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