In marketing, publicity is basically the public awareness or exposure for any given product, service or company. It can also mean the promotion of news about a product, service or company, often through the mass media. Thus, it is an integral part of marketing as it serves as the ‘ace in the hole’ that draws people towards a particular product.
In advertising, the objective is to get as much publicity as possible for the least possible cost. Therefore, publicists and advertisers work in close cooperation to achieve this goal. In fact, they rely on each other for maximum effectivity and credibility. Advertising agencies usually have a list of ‘trusted’ people that they go to for publicity. Their job is to ensure that the name of the company gets enough exposure to raise its value and create awareness.
However, some companies prefer to create their own publicity and advertise their products and services through media like television, newspapers, magazines, billboards and the internet. This helps them increase their brand awareness, customer base and customer loyalty. It also provides them a way to directly face their target audience and build a strong and credible reputation. This is something that television advertising and print media cannot provide.
Nowadays, the role of publicity has become so important that it is now an inseparable part of advertising. Publicity, together with the concept of ‘communication’, has become an integral part of marketing. For example, major companies rarely advertise on TV, whereas they extensively participate in the world wide web as well as other forms of publicity campaigns. Similarly, public relations professionals are an integral part of the entire advertising and PR activity. They help in providing guidance to organizations and publicists on how to handle publicity activities successfully.
Publicity is important because it increases the awareness of the target audience about your product or service. The more visible you make yourself, the more your brand is recognized and remembered. Also, the more you publicize your presence, the better are the chances of making deals and ensuring deals with suitable clients. Hence, if you are unable to effectively publicize your product or service, your potential customers may not be able to reach out to you. Hence, it is very important for marketing people to spend time on publicizing their organizations and ensuring effective publicity may be the difference between success and failure.
Effective public-relations strategies are usually planned and implemented along with a well thought out marketing strategy. Moreover, marketing strategies and public-relations practices should be consistent with the objectives of a marketing campaign. For example, if an organization’s marketing objective is to create awareness about its service, then the marketing and publicity activities should be geared towards creating awareness about the benefits of that service to the potential customers. Also, there should be a balance between aggressive and restrained publicity.