The constant debate remains of which is a better spend; PR or Advertising. Â When it comes to a service related industry, my feeling is that PR is “brand building,” whereas Advertising is “brand bolstering.”Â Lets use Southwest Airlines as an example and apply this theory to a case study; if anyone has seen Southwest’s new advertising initiative, they’re priding themselves on not charging for baggage and they go as far as taking a dig at other airlines hidden charges, making the verbal claim that “other airlines don’t like your bags.” For those who have not seen these commercials, check out this first video.
Sure, that’s a very heartwarming commercial, but this second video I just took through the window of Southwest flight 202 makes me question if they’ve really got love for my luggage. Â I took the advertising script from the first video and dubbed it over what I saw through the window; as you’ll notice there’s quite a disconnect, and basically I wouldn’t mind paying a couple extra bucks for an additional staff member to ensure this didn’t happen to my baggage.
The reality is that any well funded company can spend their outreach dollars on advertising, however people (or the ‘Public’) will eventually form their own opinions and then it’s up to that company to launch a reactive “Public Relations” campaign to alter consumer perception of your brand.Â Yes, be bold with your initiative, but be sure your that you’re employees are carrying out your mission — otherwise your consumers will be carrying-on their luggage.