Publicity vs PR: Difference Between The Two Concepts

Publicity vs PR: Difference Between The Two Concepts

A lot of people often tend to use the words publicity and PR interchangeably. But they are in fact, two very different terms that should not be used in place of one another. Let’s find out what these two concepts mean and how are they different from one another.

What is Publicity?

Firstly, let us understand what is the meaning of the term publicity. Publicity, in simple words, is mainly concerned with getting media coverage and creating a presence in the media. Publicity is all about getting headlines for a brand. It is very much promotional and is used to create public awareness for an organization. It is indeed, one of the tools that are used by PR professionals when they are working on a client.

What are Public Relations?

Public Relations, on the other hand, is a more vast concept than publicity. In simple words, public relations can be defined as the strategic process of maintaining the image of a brand in the eyes of the public, by using various media tools and concepts. There are many aspects to the process of PR, and many functions to be performed by a PR professional.  Public Relations is a lot about gaining the attention of the target audience and trying to maintain that attention.

What is The Difference Between These Two Concepts?

As the definitions of these two concepts have pointed out, these two terms are hardly interchangeable. In fact, publicity is a part of the functions that a PR professional tends to fulfill. On one hand, publicity is all about promoting something, whether is a new product, an upcoming event, or any change in the brand’s activities; PR is all about trying to maintain a good image of the brand, in the eyes of their customer base and fulfilling the organization’s goals.

Publicity is often used by PR professionals, all over, as a part of their job is to create attention around the brand amongst the target audience. But PR is much more than that, it is also about managing the reputation of the brand, creating brand awareness, creating more engagement, handling any crisis that might happen, and building relationships with the customer, amongst a few functions. Publicity, is hence, great for getting attention and generating clicks, but PR is much more than just publicity and is instead very much a strategic and planned process. The results of PR practices are often seen in the long run, whereas publicity is mostly about getting instant and quick results, which might not contribute much in the long run, alone. In fact, with the advent of the internet, the functions of PR and the skills required by them have too increased and gotten more complex.

For example, a brand is planning to host an event in the upcoming days. A PR professional will, in this case, try to get as much media coverage as possible, so that the event garners more attraction and a larger turn out attends the event. Here, the concept of publicity will be used.

But when we talk about getting media coverage on a more regular basis, for various reasons and operations of the brand, and other things like creating a better online presence, handling any crisis that might take place; all of these will together make up the functions that the PR professional will perform for the brand.

Hence, both these terms are not at all the same, and there is a lot of difference between the two.

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