A public relations agency, unlike an advertising agency, promotes companies or individuals via editorial coverage. This is referred to as “earned” or “free” media, that consists of stories appearing on websites, newspapers, magazines and TV programs and is not paid media, advertorial or an advertisement.
PR agencies like advertising agencies share the same goals: promoting clients and making them seem successful, honest, exciting or relevant as possible. The methods they use to create awareness are very different. Most people understand that advertising paid for by the client should be viewed with skepticism. Articles or TV appearances in respected publications, however, have third-party validation and are generally viewed more favorably.
The Public Relations Society of America defines the management of public relations as: Anticipating, analyzing and interpreting public opinion, attitudes and issues that could impact the operations and plans of the client organization.