“Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”
Public Relations is a very careful dance where the image of a company is shaped by promoting ideas, products or services. In addition, PR is meant to spotlight accomplishments in an unpaid or earned method. Publicity is not writing snappy slogan or buying advertisement space online or in a magazine. In many ways consumers are often confused about the differences between marketing and publicity. Let’s examine the fundamentals of publicity and how it can benefit your business.
What exactly do publicists do?
PR experts are great storytellers and persuasion professionals who use their writing, communication and interpersonal skills to promote a company and their products/services. Tools that a PR expert uses include:
- Writing and distributing press releases
- Speech writing
- Writing pitches (less formal than press releases) about a firm and send them directly to journalists
- Creating and executing special events designed for public outreach and media relations
- Conduct market research on the firm or the firm’s messaging
- Expansion of business contacts via personal networking or attendance and sponsoring at events
- Writing and blogging for the web
- Crisis public relations strategies
- Social media promotions and responses to negative opinions online (Source: Forbes)
How is Public Relations different from traditional or digital advertising?
The most important way that a publicity campaign differs from an advertising campaign is in the cost. Advertising is paid media, whereas public relations is earned media. For example PR means that a professional PR person convinces a reporter or editor of a media outlet to cover or write a positive story about your company or product. While this method of exposure is more difficult to control it is obviously less expensive and can build a level of trust since a third party is validating your product or service. Advertising is much more controllable and can beneficially build brand exposure it tends to be expensive and the audience knows that the advertisement is biased toward the owner or company.
While publicity will never replace a solid marketing campaign, it does play an important part in the overall strategy of of any business. Planning a successful publicity campaign should be an integral part of every company’s plan to build their brand and connect with consumers.