There are several definitions of publicity, but the most appropriate one is the one that is from a marketing angle. Publicity in its simplest form is the means of conveying information to the general public through the media. The information being publicised could be news, awareness about a product and service, etc. It is the process of creating awareness of new products and services.
Depending on the type of product or service being publicised, certain categories of people may be the target audience.
For instance, if the product is for babies, nursing mothers, and pregnant women will likely be the target audience. Publicity is a marketing vehicle. Other marketing vehicles are sales promotion, direct marketing, and advertising. Some scholars are of the opinion that advertisements should not be seen as another element of marketing, as publicity of any product is an advertisement on its own.
Means of getting publicity are through print media (newspapers, journals, magazines, etc.); television; radio; email; websites; and social media like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Other means of publicity are public speech, seminars, and workshops.
The means of publicity to adopt usually depends on the kind of information to be publicized, financial resources and target audience. Identifying publicity is quite easy. Anytime any piece of information is being disseminated to the public through any of the media listed above, it implies that a form of publicity has taken place.
Publicity has only one purpose – to get certain information across to as many people as possible within the shortest time frame. For you to record any sale on your products or services, your prospects have to be aware of those products and services, and they also have to know the attached benefits.
Suffice it to say that the number of sales is directly dependent on the number of people who got to know about the product.
Publicity is communication and communication is a two-way transaction. Publicity is not complete without getting feedback from the recipients of the required information. So, another part of publicity is providing means or platform for sending feedback or any other form of response from those who got the message being disseminated.
Different Types of Publicity
In this digital age, there are two major types of publicity – offline publicity and online publicity. Offline publicity is done without the internet. Offline publicity includes print media (magazines, journals, newsletters, daily newspapers, postcards, bills and fliers); television; radio; and giant billboards.
On the other hand, online publicity is the one done through any internet-based platform. Some online publicity techniques are email marketing, web page pop-ups, blogs, websites, Facebook publicity, Twitter publicity and referral links/ad banners.
One thing that makes publicity successful is traffic. While offline publicity is meant for offline traffic, online publicity is also meant for online traffic. Regular traffic is key to publicity and advertisement. This is why several billboards are displayed in a stadium only when there will be a match in that stadium.
In conclusion, publicity is an inevitable part of marketing. No matter how good your product is, without effective publicity, you will just be “winking in the dark."
Why is Publicity Important? Publicity helps businesses build credibility and brand awareness. It's a cost-effective strategy, but only if you create newsworthy stories. Publicity stories have to be interesting, timely and relevant. Boring stories that have no merit will take you nowhere and could have a detrimental fact on your business by causing people to lose interest and stop listening. Effective publicity goes beyond news releases and while news releases can help with search engine marketing, you'll need a bigger and more strategic public relations program to get you the results that you desire.
Six Core Benefits of Publicity
Publicity can be hard to secure but if you can publicity brings along with it several benefits including -
Publicity is the low-cost or no-cost option.
Publicity positions your business and the principals of that businesses as experts in your industry.
Publicity helps your business to stand out and be noticed.
Publicity can help in the development of partnerships and strategic alliances.
Publicity builds your credibility and propels you into a competitive position.