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Difference between Advertising and Publicity:

1. Advertising is paid form of ideas, goods and services while publicity is

not paid by the sponsor.
2. Advertising comes from an identified sponsor while publicity comes
from a neutral and impartial source.
3. Advertising is controllable by the organisation while publicity is not
controllable because it comes from a neutral source.
4. Advertising is less credible in comparison to publicity while publicity is
more credible because it comes from an impartial source.
5. Advertising is what you or your organisation says and promotes about
you or your organisation but publicity is what others say for you or your
6. In advertising same content is repeated by the sponsor while in
publicity it is not generally possible.
7. Advertising always carries a positive message about your organisation
because it is the content you pay for but publicity can be positive or
negative because it comes from an impartial source.
8. In advertising you have full chance to show your creativity but in
publicity creativity is limited because it comes from non paid source.
9. Advertising is targeted to the practicular audiences by the sponsor
while in publicity it is not focused.
10. Most of the times in advertising social responsibility is ignored while in
publicity special focus is given on social responsibility.
Combination of both advertising and publicity is

sing Advertising and Publicity are very effective methods to promote and create
positive awareness for you and your business. But... there is a clear difference
between Advertising and Publicity. Advertising is something you get by paying
for it. Publicity however, is something you hope you'll get. Why? Because
publicity can be generally gained at no cost to you. And... it generally has many
times the credibility of advertising. Here's what we mean:
There are some experts like Al Reis, author of the superb marketing text,
"Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind," that believe a majority of companies
shouldnt waste their money on advertising until they have established name
recognition and credibility through Public Relations and publicity. Others will tell
you that a combination of both advertising and PR are required. But one
thing's for certain: Every expert agrees, "that you cant just put up your web
site, open your store, offer your service or manufacture a product and then not
do anything to attract customers!"
So... advertising is content you pay for (radio, tv, newspaper, banner
advertising, etc). Publicity on the other hand, refers to free content about you
and your company that appears in the media. It's what others what others say
about you. Publicity can result when an article you write is published, or when
information you give to an editor convinces him/her to feature a story about you
or is based on a publicity release issued by a Public Relations firm you have
retained. Over time, these stories help create a favorable impression of your
product or services.
The average person has no real idea of how the media find their stories, but the
prevailing view seems to be that reporters go out and find all of their news.
This is simply not realistic thinking! There just arent enough reporters on the
planet to find every bit of news worth covering. So if you can present your
information convincingly, there's a good a chance that you'll gain the interest of
the media.
So how can I get publicity for my company? Well...let's deal with the Internet
here. The Internet or World Wide Web, has its own rules about commercialism,
and it usually is disastrous to those who break them. If your press releases,
postings or articles are blatant self-promotion or a sales pitch instead of truly
useful information they will be ignored and wont be used. Worse, you risk the
negative publicity of being flamed (you and your company being strongly put

down online, or you'll receive quantities of unwanted and negative e-mail).

So... here's a simply philosophy to follow: "Before you put out a public
message, play "who cares?" and ask yourself "why would other people be
interested in what I have to say?" or "how can people benefit from the
information I am supplying?" If you can't come up with solid, positive answers
to these questions, then keep working on your publicity release or article until
you do.

Advertising vs Publicity
Some products appear on the market for only a short while and
then one will hear nothing about them anymore. Some have
been on the market for years, existing since before one is born.
For a business to be successful, it needs to promote its name
and products so that people will become aware of them. Some
companies achieved the popularity and success that they are
now enjoying through years of hard work and persistent use of
advertising and publicity to promote their products and name.
Advertising is a communications tool which is used to convince
viewers, listeners, or readers to do something about a product,
an idea, or a service. It is designed to positively influence people
to patronize a product or service.
It is usually a paid announcement or promotion to entice people
to notice and patronize a companys product through the use of
various media such as radio, television, newspapers, magazines,
through fliers, and the Internet.
When a company decides to have an advertisement placed in a
certain publication, TV, or radio show, it controls how it is

presented on the medium which carries it. It can specify the

size, scope, and content of the advertisement containing its
product. Since it is a paid promotion, customers view







information that the company specified which is meant to be

beneficial to it and no feedback from customers who have tried
Publicity, on the other hand, is the promotion and management
of the publics impression towards a subject. It is the process of
creating news through sponsorship, exhibitions, staging a
debate, organizing a tour of the business, and inventing and
presenting an award. Through involvement in these activities,
the individual or companys name will be extensively mentioned
in the media and attract the attention of people to the individual
or for consumers to a companys products and services.
Publicity is usually an unpaid promotion, although a minimal
cost is incurred for the materials used in the publicity. However,
since it is unpaid, the individual or company has no control over
how the material is presented if it is released at all. Since it is
featured in a magazine or newspaper, the companys name and
products being mentioned by a writer or editor, consumers will
see them as a positive feedback about the product and the
company. People will believe in the product if somebody else
talks about it.
1.An advertisement is a communications tool which is used to
make people patronize a product while publicity is a

communications tool which manages peoples impressions



2.An advertisement is a paid promotion while publicity is free;

an individual or company only has to spend funds on the


3.In an advertisement, the company can dictate how the

information about it is presented including the content while in
publicity, the company has no control over how it is shown if at
4.Since it comes from a third party, publicity is viewed as more
credible by most consumers in contrast to an advertisement
which comes directly from the company.

Advertising and publicity are two very different communication tools, even
though both employ the mass media as a vehicle for reaching large audiences.
Traditionally, most marketers placed heavy reliance on advertising and
only occasionally used publicity.
On the other hand, public relations practitioners have primarily relied
on publicity--or, as they sometimes prefer to call it, media relations-and only rarely used advertising.
This does not mean that advertising should be seen only as a marketing tool
and that publicity should be seen only as a public relations tool. Thoughtfully
used, both tools are valuable for both functions.

Advertising buys its way into the media.

An advertiser purchases air time on a broadcast medium or page space in a
print medium and then uses that media time/space to deliver whatever
persuasive messages the advertiser chooses to the media's audiences.
Presumably, a smart advertiser will purchase ad space in only those media
whose audiences are known to be consistent with the target audiences the
advertiser wants to reach.
Most often, advertising messages are inducements to purchase a
However, advertising space can be used for non-product oriented
o "Adver-torials," for instance, are advertising messages which
take sides and present a specific view or opinion about public

o "Image ads" are those which provide favorable information

about an organization and its policies that would not normally be
considered "newsworthy" enough for the media to report it of
their own volition.
The biggest advantage of advertising is that it gives the organization total
control of the message that will be presented to the audience. The advertiser,
not the media's editors, control the content, the timing, and the amount of
time/space given to the advertising.
The biggest disadvantages are the high price of advertising and the skepticism
with which audiences sometimes view advertising that they know is unedited
opinion of the advertiser.

Publicity is presented by the media because it's

A publicity-seeker tries to "make the news" -- i.e., to convince
reporters/editors to present news coverage about a particular person,
organization, or event -- by saying or doing something that the news media
will choose to report of their own volition as part of their usual task of
informing the public. The publicity-seeker's intent is to gain free and
hopefully favorable editorial coverage.
Other people and organizations who are fearful of receiving negative or
harmful publicity will employ public relations practitioners to try to suppress
or counteract negative media coverage.
Publicity-seekers are entirely at the mercy of the media's editors and other
staff members. The editors, not the individual or organization who wants the
publicity, decide whether or not anything will be reported in the media. And,
even when something is reported, it's the media staff who decide how it will
be reported and how much attention it will be given. It's very possible that
information which an organization offers the media in a positive and flattering
news release could show up in a news story that casts a negative or critical
light on the organization that supplied it.
For years the conventional wisdom was that the biggest advantages of
publicity were the lack of direct cost and the apparent "third-party
endorsement" effect.
It's not necessary to buy media space/time, but publicity is not totally
free. There are salary and production costs involved in having someone
prepare news releases or perform other publicity work.

Media audiences often give information presented as publicity more

credibility than if the same information were presented in an ad. That's
because they know that presumably objective editors decide what's
included in the news whereas self-serving organizations decide what to
put in their ads.
This conventional wisdom was at least partially ratified in a 1994 landmark
study conducted by the Wirthlin Group that looked at the relative impact
which publicity and advertising have on consumers' buying decisions.
According to O'Dwyer's PR Services (Sept. `94), "Those surveyed reported
that a news article or feature in a newspaper or magazine would impact their
buying decisions more than ads for a product or service." More specifically,
28 percent of the adults over age 18 said a news or feature story would be
likely to influence their decision to buy a specific product, while only 8
percent said that an ad for the product would be likely to influence their
Alice Allen, president of the Allen Communications Group in New York
which helped fund the study, also pointed out that the relative impact of
publicity, particularly newspaper and magazine stories, was further increased
among respondents who had completed higher education and had higher
income levels.
On the other hand, the biggest disadvantages of publicity are the lack of
control over the specific content, the timing, and the amount of coverage.

Used together, ads and publicity can create a powerful

In the past, most practitioners would select and use either advertising or public
relations to get their messages out depending on which seemed most
appropriate for the prevailing circumstances. In some instances, they may
have even used both, but it wasn't a common practice and there was no
evidence that pointed to it being particularly effective. In the last few years,
that's started to change.
During the 1990's AT&T studied the relative effectiveness of advertising and
media relations in helping to acquire new customers. Some of these findings
and others were recently published in a study by the Institute for Public
Relations (IPR) at the University of Florida. The general conclusion of that
study, as reported by pr reporter (7/16/01), was that news coverage, whether
generated through media relations efforts or not, "modulates the impact of
advertising." Most of the time, they work synergistically and reinforce one
another, but there are exceptions.

The most common circumstances involve routine amounts of positive

or neutral news stories. In situations like this, complementary or
supporting advertising works with the news coverage to produce an
even more positive impact on public attitudes.
The same is true when there is an unusually large amount of positive
news coverage. There's a more positive impact on public attitudes with
advertising than there is without it, but the added impact of the
advertising, while positive, is significantly less forceful in this type of
On the other hand, when there is an unusual amount of negative news
coverage, "incremental advertising doesn't have a positive incremental
impact and may even have a negative one." Perhaps, and this is only
my speculation, this occurs because the audience perceives the
advertising as an attempt to overshadow or compensate for the negative
news. But, whatever the reason, the best suggestion based on currently
available evidence might be to reduce, not increase, advertising during
times when your organization is getting bad press.
The best ways of using advertising and media relations to reinforce one
another remain to be determined. But, in the meantime, the IPR study author
Bruce Jeffries-Fox suggests, "that partnerships between media relations and
advertising would save money and pack a bigger punch. ... Messages from
both worlds combine in the minds of consumers."