Public Relations VS Publicity

ImagePublicity and public relations are often mistaken as being one in the same. This is because in large part they both start with the word ‘public’. While these two terms share many characteristics, they also have many aspects that separate them from one another.

Public relations is often communally seen as being the actions of a corporation, organization, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public or community.

Publicity is defined as being extensively mentioned in the news media and the state of being public, or open to general observation or knowledge.

I have always seen public relations as being more of a process that goes beyond media coverage. There are many steps that attribute to public relations. Marketing, advertising, crisis management, research, and campaigns are all diverse aspects to the field of PR. Whereas publicity is more of just the adjective of being public. It is being known and heavily recognized in society. The more someone or something is shown in popular media spectrums, the more publicity they possess.

Example of PR

An example of Public relations that is more relevant to the students of Georgia Southern is the Aspen Heights Campaign. Aspen Heights has put out a commercial, given out t-shirts and other objects, opened an office, created a Facebook page, etc. The organization has done all of these things to appeal to college students and to make them want to jump on the Aspen Heights bandwagon.

Example of publicity

Recently there was a controversy at the presidential inauguration speech. Beyonce performed at the inauguration and there were some faults with the recording of the vocals. The media blew up with coverage of the performance and it was conspired that Beyonce was lip singing. This is an example of publicity because if it wasn’t such a huge celebrity, like Beyonce, the media would not have cared that deeply. This whole ordeal gave her even more publicity because she was seen all over the news.


4 thoughts on “Public Relations VS Publicity

  1. I really like the way that you compared and contrasted PR vs Publicity. By using easy to read definitions of each of the components, you kept me wanting to read more. Also, great job using a relevant example such as Aspen Heights. Lord knows you can’t navigate around Statesboro without seeing their name somewhere; this is a testament to the fine job that they have done with their PR campaign.

    Beyonce’ was also a very strong example to use. While a lot of people were outraged at her, she still appeared on television and in the news that week, which really got her name out to the masses more so than it would have been if she would have sung the National Anthem flawlessly.

    Great job!

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  3. Lindsey, This was a great example to differentiate both terms. When Public Relations was all new to me I would have confused the two as one. But as you have stated, and I have learned they are entirely two seperate things that just fall under the same roof.

    Meaning Public Relations entails so many different things. People ask, “Well what are you going to do with your degree?” The reason that they ask is because there are so many different things that can happen. Publicity is one of the many things that fall under the category of Public Relations, but that does not mean that they are the same.

    Great insight!

  4. Pingback: Responses To Blogs | Zany For PR

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