Master showman PT Barnum said, “A terrible thing happens without publicity … NOTHING!” Whether you’re a one-person road show or a major corporation, you need people to know about you. Publicity is your best friend if used well and is a terrible waste if ignored. Publicity is the most overlooked marketing tool and also the least expensive, least risky…
Publicity, public relations, and advertising
Publicity is free media exposure for your product or service. Public relations (PR) is the overall planning and strategy for dealing with the media. Advertising is paying to promote your product or service. Say, for example, you have a lemonade stand. Your PR strategy is to use word of mouth to promote your product. With the little extra money you have, you hire your brother to post flyers (advertising). In the mean time, a thirsty runner with no money jogs by and you give her a cool drink on the house. Because she’s the editor of your local paper, the next day your lemonade stand is prominently displayed on the front page. Business booms. That’s publicity.
Publicity is the art of convincing others to sing your praises for you at the same time you’re singing your own praises. You and others team up to tell the world who you are, what you do, and why it is so important. If the public doesn’t hear about you or your product or service, as Barnum pointed out, nothing will happen.
With advertising, those who purchase your service or product are your target customers. In publicity, the media is your target customer. One customer sold on your service or product equals one sale. One media representative sold can result in thousands of sales.
Jill Lublin is an internationally acclaimed speaker and best selling author of the books, Guerrilla Publicity and Networking Magic. She is the CEO of the strategic consulting firm Promising Promotion and founder of GoodNews Media, Inc. Jill hosts the nationally syndicated radio show Do the Dream, has a TV show called The Connecting Minute, and is working on her third book to be published by McGraw-Hill in 2008. She can be reached by phone at 415-883-5455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.