Value of Public Relations Versus Advertising

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Q: One of my PR firm’s clients is having problems understanding what we call “PR value”. For us, PR value is the added value that comes with the increased credibility that an article or a news segment has over an advertisement. Unfortunately, I’m having a difficult time finding research to back up our claim. Would you be able to point me in the right direction?


Tim Winchester

A: Dear Tim:

The most compelling study I’ve seen is one done by AT&T with the help of a media relations measurement firm. They quantified the relative value of ads and PR, both negative and positive, in a way that helps them determine when it’s not even worth advertising because of the current type of media coverage. I believe you can find a summary of the study at, or it may now be

Let me know if that doesn’t provide what you’re looking for.

Angela D. Sinickas

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