How Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations are Connected

Photo Credit: Frederico Sebastionelli,

Advertising, public relations, and journalism are three different fields that often work closely together. The three are separate tools that a brand or company might try to use to achieve their goal. An example of how the three can work congruently was all over the news recently in the form of an exploding smartphone.

Samsung Mobile Galaxy Note 7

  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is more often known as “that one samsung phone that keeps exploding”. This particular phone, according to Samsung during a press conference, had an issue with the battery inside. The casing was too small for the inner workings which caused it to short circuit, and in essence catch fire and explode. Worse for Samsung, airlines banned the phone from both carry on and checked luggage due to the risk of fire. Samsung was eventually forced to issue a mass recall for the phone, promising refunds for all returned devices.


Photo Credit: portal gda,

Advertising and Public Relations – The role of both ad and pr is to bring awareness to a company in a positive way. Both also often target a particular audience.

  • The pr nightmare that is the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is likely to have an impact on future sales for the brand. Recently, with the news of the launch of the Galaxy S8, Samsung released a video that they called “Quality Assurance: Extensive Tests”. This video took the new phone and put it under intense circumstances to prove that it would not explode like its predecessor. Not only did this video prove that the old issues had been dealt with, it also advertised features of the newest phone. Samsung looks better and the newest phone is being talked about.

Public Relations and Journalism – Public relations and journalism are often thought of as similar fields, though not the same. Both journalists and public relation representatives must be able to communicate effectively, but this does not always mean that they work together willingly. Oftentimes the two fields frustrate each other – Public relations hopes to spread only positive information about their client, while a journalist is looking for the best story. The two are not always aligned when it comes to their overall purpose.

  • Samsung depended significantly on journalists to help spread information about their efforts to renew their image in the consumer’s eyes. Journalists, on the other hand, did not want to drop the story of the exploding phone. From October 2016 up to January 2017, articles about the devices flaws and critiques about the efforts of Samsung to get in front of the problem circulated. With the release of their newest phone, news and media outlets continue to revisit the Galaxy Note 7 and discuss it in comparison with the Galaxy S8. The flaws of the Note 7 and the failures of Samsung aren’t going away.

Journalism and Advertising – A journalist may not do it purposefully, but much of the time press for a company helps spread awareness and information through a trusted and reputable source. This spread of information can function as advertising for a company. Sometimes, like with Super Bowl ads, the articles are about the ads themselves and how they have an impact.

  • Samsung was the topic of many articles as they apologized for the scandal. The Guardian newspaper wrote an article about a full-page ad that Samsung put in a newspaper. The ad by Samsung was an apology to users for the defects in the Note 7, and the articles in papers like The Guardian helped to spread this message further. This created awareness  for Samsung and their outreach to their users.

Advertising, public relations, and journalism all played a key role in restoring the reputation of Samsung and their future smartphones. Their work is ongoing, and these three tools will be necessary for their success.