The presence or absence of a public relations multiplier has long been controversial. This study sought to try and establish if such a multiplier exits through a carefully controlled experiment with “real” participants, and if so, what its magnitude might be in a comparison of an initial branding campaign. Experimental–control group analyses indicated that the advertising and public relations manipulations were successful; however, comparisons between advertising and public relations failed to find but one significant difference – with the public relations group perceiving the product more similar to (homophilous to) them than those in the advertising group. The research did find that the public relations group scored consistently, but non-significantly higher on almost all measures and that their decision-making was focused on higher levels of overall product knowledge.
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