Both public relations and publicity are terms used to refer to the relationship that a company has with the public. Although both are closely related to each other, there are a few differences that companies need to know.
Any attention that a company receives from media outlets is considered publicity. Generally, this type of attention can potentially affect the way that the company is perceived by its target audience, which means it can have a direct impact on the performance of the company’s sales and revenue. This impact can be both positive and negative, and publicity itself can refer to an entire business, a specific person inside a company, a company’s solutions, or more. It’s important to know that publicity tends to be outside of the control of the company itself and can come in the form of discussions in digital spaces, blog posts, news articles, and more. While companies can influence their publicity indirectly, it’s not easy for them to be in control of how it’s going to be received by the target audience. For instance, companies can distribute press releases, and statements, or even have interviews with reporters, or conduct their own with other members of the industry. However, it’s important for businesses to remember that the main goal of any effort to generate more publicity for a business is to get more attention on the company and its solutions, which means there needs to be a specific focus on the effort too.
Through Public relations companies tend to generate media coverage regarding specific actions or solutions from the company. In terms of public relations, companies do have some sort of control over the way the company is perceived, because businesses can choose the information that they want to share with the rest of the world. However, once that information has been released to the public, there is nothing that the company can do to influence the perception that the public will have over the company. Additionally, PR tends to be a lot more interactive and active in terms of how a company can manage its reputation and public image. It’s also closely related to marketing efforts because public relations tend to have complex and more long-term strategies that have measurable and specific goals that the company can keep track of. The main goal of public relations efforts is for companies to develop a message and then effectively communicate that message to the target audience to elicit a specific response or reaction. This tends to be a very active process because companies must directly communicate with their target audience and invest in grassroots initiatives, pursue social responsibility campaigns, engage in community outreach, and more, all in an effort to engage with the public and the company’s target audience.
The author, Matt Caiola is Co-CEO of PR agency 5WPR, a leading PR agency.