PR vs Advertising – White Paper Cost Comparison Analysis

Which is a better marketing spend: PR or advertising?

A few years ago, MACIAS PR published a cost comparison analysis that took a quantitative look at the cost of earned media versus paid media.

The research specifically looked at the promotional cost of media exposure for an event that helped veterans, and the cost of earned media for a mobile app launch.

We’ve embedded that white paper at the bottom of this post, but if you’re short on time, here are some of the key findings from our research.

Local PR is More Cost Effective than Advertising

MACIAS PR led a local media campaign for the nonprofit organization, VAREP, which needed help promoting their VA Housing Summit in San Antonio. This media campaign’s purpose was to educate the local veteran and military community on VA housing programs available in their area.

Under the media campaign, our team secured four media placements leading up to their VA Housing Summit in television, radio and print.

According to Golden State Media Concepts, the average TV commercial in San Antonio, ranges from $500 to $3000 for only 30-seconds of air time. 

Both KENS 5 and KSAT 12 ran their TV segments in the 10pm newscast – the most expensive advertising program of the day. Each TV segment ran longer than two minutes.

Under advertising standards, this nonprofit would have needed to purchase 4 commercials for the equivalent airtime of one TV newscast. At the current market rate, one TV segment would have cost roughly $12,000, or $24,000 for the segments that ran on two TV stations.

This PR campaign also secured media placements with a prominent local magazine, The San Antonio Current and radio station, KYKX. A 30-second radio spot, according to the Golden State Media Concepts, costs $250-$490 for the morning drive time. 

The San Antonio Current Magazine doesn’t release its ad rates publicly, but their ad sheet says the magazine reaches 272,000 readers a month and more than 4 million monthly page views. The live segment lasted roughly 90-seconds, bringing the total cost to $1,110.

If you’d like to get a free PR proposal for your company, click here to get a customized quote.