People often confuse publicity, which is defined in Wikipedia as “the movement of information with the effect of increasing public awareness of a subject” with public relations, which is defined as “the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public.” In other words, publicity is the tactics and public relations is the strategy. To illustrate the difference, see the batch below: Ann Marie and I are often asked for assistance promoting events, awards, etc. when these prospective clients say that they are seeking “public relations” for the event. Instead of discussing the difference between PR and publicity, this is an opportunity for us to engage in a more in-depth conversation with the person, asking what are their goals for a public relations campaign. If it is merely to create a “buzz” about the event, then a simple press release and a few social media posts would create the publicity surrounding the event.

However, if the goal is to create a lasting impact on consumer behaviors, that involves a larger public relations campaign, that may involve incorporating the public relations strategy into the strategic marketing campaign. While working the with client, we develop an editorial calendar, which identifies specific publicity opportunities and schedule 30/60/90 review meetings to analyze what is working with the public relations strategy.

A series of publicity items to promote an event, does support an overall public relations campaign, but it is important to keep each piece of publicity in context. Even though publicity is short-lived, don’t discount the importance of individual bits of positive information surrounding the event, because it demonstrates that you company or organization is vital and growing. Ultimately, the goal of any PR campaign is to keep your product or service “top-of-mind” with your prospective clients, therefore it is important to maintain the frequency and consistency of releasing publicity items.

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