Publicity: Types of Publicity

Publicity is also a way of mass communication. It is not a paid form of mass communication that involves getting favourable response of buyers by placing commercially significant news in mass media. Publicity is not paid for by the organisation. Publicity comes from reporters, columnists, and journalists. It can be considered as a part of public relations.

Publicity involves giving public speeches, giving interviews, conducting seminars, offering charitable donations, inaugurating mega events by film actors, cricketers, politicians, or popular personalities, arranging stage show, etc., that attract mass media to publish the news about them.

Publicity is undertaken for a wide range of purposes like promoting new products, increasing sales of existing product, etc. It also aimed at highlighting employees’ achievements, company’s civic activities, pollution control steps, research and development successes, financial performance, its progress, any other missionary activities, or social contribution.

Publicity has been defined as:

William J. Stanton: “Publicity is any promotional communication regarding an organisation and/or its products where the message is not paid for by the organisation benefiting from it.”

Philip Kotler: “Non-personal stimulation of demand for the product or service, or business unit by placing commercially significant news about it in public medium or obtaining favourable presentation of it upon radio, television, or stage that is not paid for by the sponsor.”

Importance of Publicity

  1. Publicity is an effective medium to disseminate message to the mass with more credibility. People have more trust on news given by publicity.
  2. The credibility level of publicity is much higher than advertising and other means of market promotion. People express more trust on what the third party independently says. It appears directly through newspapers, magazines, television, or radio by the third party. It is free from bias.
  3. It provides more information as the valuable information is free from space and time constraints. Similarly, publicity takes place immediately. No need to wait for time or space in mass media. It enjoys priority.
  4. The firm is not required to pay for publicity. The indirect costs related to publicity are much lower than other means of promotion.
  5. It is a part of public relations. It is free from exaggeration; it carries more factual information about company. It is more trustable. It helps establish public relations.
  6. Generally, publicity covers the varied information. It normally involves name of company, its goods and services, history, outstanding achievements, and other similar issues. The knowledge is more complete compared to advertisement.
  7. Publicity directly helps middlemen and sale persons. Their tasks become easy. Publicity speaks a lot about products on behalf of middlemen and salesmen. Sellers are not required to provide more information to convince the buyers.
  8. It is suitable to those companies which cannot effort the expensive ways to promote the product.
  9. Publicity increases credit or fame of the company. Publicity on company’s assistance in relief operations during flood, earthquake, draught, and other natural calamities highlights its name and social contribution in mass media. People hold high esteem to this company.
  10. Publicity can be used by non-commercial organisations/institutes like universities, hospitals, associations of blinds or handicaps, and other social and missionary organisations. They can publicize their noble works by the medium of publicity.

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Advantages

Branding

Many companies that are successful over the long haul rely on the strength of their brand to cultivate new sales. If you can offer your customers a series of quality products that meet or exceed expectations, they may be more likely to give any new products you develop a try, simply by hearing the name of your brand. Successful branding typically takes time. Consistent publicity can help you strengthen your brand by repeatedly putting your company’s name in front of potential customers. Over time, the public may grow to think of your company as a household name, which could set you apart from your competitors.

Credibility

Consumers expect a certain level of bias or exaggeration in the commercials or advertisements a company produces about its products. However, third-party sources, such as magazine articles or online reviews, are often considered less biased. This is particularly true with reputable sources, such as longstanding publication houses or well-regarded professional reviewers. As opposed to company-generated claims, publicity from non-affiliated parties can often seem more credible in the eyes of your potential customers. While professional marketing can be effective, particularly if you offer high-quality products, positive third-party publicity can enhance your company’s reputation.

Generating Publicity

Although publicity comes from outside sources, it rarely comes about spontaneously. To get the ball rolling with possible sources of publicity, you’ll have to pitch your company directly to various media outlets perhaps through a public relations professional, whose services can be contracted for a fee. Newspapers, magazines and social media sites can’t write about something they don’t know about, so you’ll have to provide them with information that gets them interested in learning more about your company and spreading the word to their readers or followers. To be effective, you must target your message to the appropriate audience. To get repeat or ongoing coverage, you will need to have something new. The good news is that publicity often feeds on itself. If good reviews or comments about your business start popping up, it often gets other sources interested.

Cost

Publicity and marketing are often used interchangeably to describe a company’s promotional activity, but there are significant differences. Whereas companies generate their own marketing materials, publicity is granted by outside sources, such as the media. One of the biggest advantages of publicity is that it is usually free. A marketing staff and promotional activities can cost a company a significant amount of money. However, publicity ranging from unsolicited newspaper reviews to social media word-of-mouth typically costs nothing.

Disadvantages

Depends on the type of publicity, to a great extent. Negative publicity can have a negative impact on how others view you and thus affect your ability to get a job, a mate or even get respect. But even positive pub can be a drawback in that there are jealous people out there who will never get positive pub because they will never earn it. When you get positive pub, be ready to be attacked by those who hate you for your popularity or the adoration others express for you. You are now a target to be taken down by those who feel worthless in their own being. Plus, positive publicity may set the bar higher for you in all endeavors. It’s like you may be held to a higher standard than you were before this positive pub was hoisted upon you. And you may be put under a microscope and under stricter scrutiny by those who despise their own inability to do anything worth publicly praising. The safest (and most difficult) thing to do, is not give a shit what anybody says about you and that way even the worse kind of pub will just roll off your back.

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