When we think of public relations and publicity, we would assume they would correlate by definition. However, public relations performs to assist businesses or individuals to cultivate a positive reputation with the public through various forms of communications. With the help of PR, brands are guided through relationship management. The public relations industry is a development of public exposure to their targeted audience using topics of public interest and news. According to the Public Relations Society of America:
“Public relations is a strategic communication process that build mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
The industry overall creates forms of press releases, designs social media content and guides the client in the right path of positive media coverage. PR firms all have the same goal: generate awareness, build credibility, and reinforce a positive brand image to the targeted audience.
Publicity on the other hand, creates public awareness and attention around a brand. Publicists gain publicity for their clients by promoting. The primary purpose of publicity is to disperse as much information about a specific brand or product. Publicity is the key component of marketing strategies. One of the biggest advantages of publicity is that it’s usually free. There are multiple forms of publicity such as the social media platforms we use daily. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube all allow companies to build followers and establish an audience for the message they want to share. Other means of publicity involve purchasing space in print, time on air, or online ads. Other modes of publicity include news stories, articles and event information.
When generating publicity, marketers have to pitch your company directly to various media outlets. Typically through a public relations professional, whose services can be contracted for a fee. When spreading the word on an upcoming brand, publicist have to provide magazines or social media sites information that spark a drive for attention. In order to really be effective you must target a specific message to the appropriate audience. Publicity is overall solely use to attract attention.
Public relations and publicity are often wrongfully considered one and the same. However, publicity is just one aspect of public relations.