What is Publicity? And Why Is It Valuable?

What is Publicity? And Why Is It Valuable?

written by Vicky Lynch

If you aren’t sure exactly what publicity actually is, but someone (an editor, agent, client, etc.) has told you that getting it will help you, rest assured, you are not alone. I often tell friends and families that I’m a publicist and many people just assume that means I’m an editor or marketer. And while we do offer advice in areas including editing and marketing during an active publicity campaign, that’s not our focus. 

The definition of publicity (courtesy of Merriam Webster) is as follows:

1: the quality or state of being public

2 : an act or device designed to attract public interest

specifically  : information with news value issued as a means of gaining public attention or support

Publicity and Marketing Are Not the Same

The main difference between marketing and publicity is that marketing success usually consists of paid placements that are putting you or your service in the spotlight. Publicity, on the other hand, is positioning yourself and your business, book or services in a newsworthy way in order to gain unpaid exposure in news outlets simply because these outlets see value in your message for their audience. 

Publicity Is Hard to Measure 

We often have clients who come to us with specific goals. They want to sell X number of books, increase traffic to their website by X percent, or get X amount of new leads for their course or product. And we truly want all of that for them too! But the thing is, a successful publicity campaign isn’t always going to provide results that are tangible and measurable, especially with a specific goal. 

Our goal is to get you the exposure to your audience, what you do with the exposure is the next step. This may seem confusing, and we get it. But I will tell you that publicity can give you a HUGE advantage over your competitors and help you level-up your expertise and grow your business.

Here’s 3 Reasons Why Publicity IS Extremely Valuable: 

1. Media exposure offers instant credibility.

Here’s the situation. You’ve just spoken to a room of 100 people about your book, product or service. Many of them are interested in what you have to offer, but they also want to do their own research. When they Google you, their search returns pages of results. They see podcast interviews you’ve done, an article you wrote for Success, and links to articles in various outlets including Business Insider, Forbes and Startup Nation. 

On the customer side, seeing media outlets who have turned to you for expertise or featured your product instantly gives you the credibility you need and helps your lead make a decision about purchasing your book, product or service. We all want to be assured that if we make an investment, it will be worth it. PR exposure closes that trust-gap between you and your consumer.

2. PR provides exposure to new audiences.

Oftentimes we will jump on a call with a potential client and are blown away by their credentials, expertise and experience. And I’ll often wonder to myself, “Why haven’t I heard of this person before?” Well, at least that’s a problem we can help solve. There are a lot of people out there who have what it takes to be well-known in their industry or even the world, but they need someone to share that message. 

That’s why a lot of what we do is strategizing and brainstorming angles out of a client’s existing body of work. Whether that’s a book, podcast, website, course, or even social media content. We aren’t re-inventing the wheel, we are just finding ways to share your expertise in a newsworthy way that will get you legitimate editorial coverage. And part of that strategy is reaching out to the outlets whose audiences may never have heard of you, but who will be very interested in you once they do. 

3. Publicity can promote your brand values and has the power to change customer perceptions

There are companies and influencers who will hire a PR firm to help manage a scandal or unfortunate event that is tied to their brand. And while, yes, a publicist can help you craft new messaging in response to problems to help save face, they can also help you promote your values from the beginning. 

You can always share your values on your company blog or via social media. But do you know what is going to ring more true than your own words? Someone else’s. With a  publicist who can help you craft messaging and pitch angles that are not only newsworthy but also in line with your values, you’ll gain exposure that will not only boost your brand, but will let customers know what your company stands for. 

Are you interested in promoting your brand? Schedule a discovery call with us today. We’d love to chat more to see if PR can add value to your marketing efforts.

Vicky Lynch
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