Public relations and publicity are often used interchangeably. Although Public relations and publicity are related, they are not the same thing.
Merriam-Webster’s defined publicity as:
· Something that attracts the attention of the public.
· Attention that is given to someone or something by newspapers, magazines, television news programs, etc.
PR practitioners might define publicity as news coverage, feature stories, executive interviews and speaking engagements. Truly, publicity can be great values for brands, building awareness and gaining exposure.
While above is very correct of publicity, but it cannot be same meaning for public relations. Public relation is a deliberate or a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. This public could either be internal or external. Public relations can also be defined as the practice of managing communication between an organization and its publics. Public relation is not one end show, but a mutually benefited relationship between an organization and its publics.
PR experts are responsible for a brand’s image, reputation and its business results. Publicity is only one aspect of a PR strategy. Attempt will be made in some other post to clearly discuss various PR strategies available to practitioners.
Here are additional differentiators between PR and Publicity:
- Messaging and identity: Perhaps the most important duty of a PR person is crafting core messages. They can get to the heart of a brand’s identity and establish what sets it apart from competitors. PR develops a brand’s language and personality. Tailored made messages are crafted for brand’s marketing. Marketers can then use their framework to craft advertising messages.
- Content and storytelling: PR teams work alongside marketers to develop compelling and relevant contents. Their goal is to tell a brand’s story and encourage interaction from consumers. In most cases, these interactions translate to product knowledge, sales and eventually profits for the organization.
- Reputation building and image management: It is the duty of a PR person to monitor a variety of communications channels to avoid negative attention for the brand. PR teams must ensure that a brand’s reputation remains positive and intact. Teams must decide whether and how to respond to negative comments and ensure that the positive outweighs the negative. Constantly, the team must ensure the communication channels carry what translates into good image making for the organization at all times.
- Competitive analysis: PR teams must understand what their competition is saying about their brand and how they are getting their messages out.
Sometimes monitoring competitors presents an opportunity for publicity. Mostly, it informs decisions about PR campaigns, messages and content as well as review of strategies.