Public Relations :-
The practice of managing communication between an organization and its publics.
Public relations is a far better exercise when it comes to slowly building your brand reputation.
Many new-entrepreneurs and businesses tend to concentrate a lot on advertising and less on Public Relations. While advertising is equivalent to shouting from the rooftop about your product , PR is subtle. A PR campaign is more personal.
A PR campaign may be about putting up a “press release” and then talking about it. It is about asking someone to write up a story on your venture and then publish it so that people can read it in their leisure time. It is about showing that there are people behind the venture, people just like you and me. It is about generating a small buzz that can translate into word of mouth advertising for free. It is about releasing information on progress of your venture, development of your product or expansion of your company.
While advertising is more in your face. A business print Ads in newspaper, shows them on the TV. It sets expectations for the product or service. It is okay when a business is sure that it can deliver what it promises.
If you start with big bang advertising while your back-end ops are in shambles, your advertisement will deliver negative result.
There is a time between starting of your venture and when you should actually mass advertise.
So in my opinion, for an entrepreneur, soft advertising or PR is the right strategy to go with. You get publicity slowly while you have enough time to build a solid back-end operation and customer service processes.
Here is Seth Godin’s perspective( He is a guru)