Today, PR is the new marketing.
You still need to advertise to build a brand, but if you believe that you don’t need to actively engage in public relations… you’re crazy.
Even forty years ago, the late Malcolm McLaren saw that PR was vital. He wanted his clothing line to be worn by the stars, so he became the manager of the New York Dolls. That’s one way to get a band to wear your clothes!
A few years later he created a band to manage, and the Sex Pistols drew upon the disenchantment of youth in England by playing “God Save The Queen” on a boat on the River Thames outside the Houses of Parliament. The establishment was horrified. Police were called. McLaren was arrested. Headlines were made. Success.
Advertising is your opinion of your brand.
PR puts your words in the mouths of others.
PR gives your words validity.
Done right, PR supports your advertising message and gives it credibility it would otherwise never have.
The very smart David Meerman Scott wrote a book a few years ago about this same topic. You can order it here.