Most people outside of the profession don’t know the difference between public relations and advertising. For example, a component of public relations is “earned” media. That is to say, PR helps develop stories that the news media determine to be appealing or newsworthy, so the media report your story. With advertising, you pay for your space or time in the media. Both disciplines demand creativity and a strategic approach. In most organizations, there are clear walls between those handling public relations and those in advertising. That’s by design.
I’ve spent my entire career on the public relations side and only dabbled with paid advertising. But with recent developments within the California State University system and the sudden reversal to once again admit more students, we need to get the word out. Unfortunately, our university (much like most CSU campuses) doesn’t have an advertising department – or even an advertising budget, for that matter. The free media, including social media, helps, but it doesn’t reach our entire audience.
So this month I crossed over to the advertising side as Cal State San Bernardino introduced its first television advertising campaign. Since funds are limited, it’s limited to cable subscribers in designated Inland Empire areas, and only on a handful of cable networks. Naturally, I’ve posted the spots here and on Facebook. You can find them all at the CSUSB YouTube channel. Take a look and let me know what you think. Thanks.