In advertising, publicity is simply the perception or public awareness for any particular product, service or company. It can also refer to the promotional movement of news about a new product, service or company, generally through the media. Usually, in any form of advertising, the message that is meant to be conveyed is “I am here; what’s my address?”
The internet has been the source of considerable growth in terms of the amount and quality of publicity generated every year. One can simply consider it as a way of word-of-mouth promotion. Most of us have experienced having received a forwarded piece of paper from a friend or family member with useful and interesting information about a product or service we may not have known about previously. Some other forms of publicity include the likes of television commercials and viral videos. Viral videos are one of the most successful methods of viral promotion in recent years as they are capable of going viral very quickly if they are well crafted and highly entertaining.
Any form of promotion, therefore, aims to create awareness and visibility for the product, service or brand in question. This is done by providing something of value in a way that provokes thought and conversation about it. The ultimate aim of any form of promotion is to attract the attention of as many people as possible, which is why viral promotion is such an effective method. This means that any form of advertisement aims to make the prospect of doing business with the advertiser or publisher very clear. By making a video available for free on YouTube or hosting it on your own website, you can send the message that you are in fact interested in them being aware of your brand.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and StumbleUpon have all played a significant role in recent years in the generation of viral publicity. The proliferation of micro-blogging sites has dramatically reduced the amount of time that traditional advertising channels like newspapers, television and magazines take to deliver their messages to potential customers. In effect, these channels have now become the unwanted advertising voice of big businesses. In this new era of social media, however, brands and businesses are able to go where their consumers go.
If a business wishes to establish a strong online presence that will last for years to come, then it needs to get involved in stunts and publicity stunts. Getting into newsworthy events or joining up with some high profile individuals or organizations can go a long way in creating hype and excitement around a brand or product. Getting involved in street racing is another excellent example. While there is no real strategy that works every time, a branded clothing company may actually do quite well by getting involved in a stunt that involves them chasing a speeding car. Getting into some kind of dangerous situation where their safety is at risk is likely to create plenty of publicity. On the other hand, if the stunt does not get their car moving very much or damage the car beyond the cost of the insurance, then no real benefit will have been gained.
Branding can also take part in promotional activities that are more generic and do not have the potential to create as much excitement as a major stunt. Getting involved in a local sports festival is one example. This kind of publicity can lead to local residents talking about a business on a regular basis and can make up a large portion of their awareness, but there is no guarantee that they will remember or appreciate the company. Publicity and awareness are key in modern times, and businesses should make every effort to promote themselves and their brands accordingly.