Advertising vs Publicity
Advertising and publicity are two very important tools in the hands of companies to let out a word about their products and services. Both are used to create awareness about the company and its products in a positive manner. However, the two tools are very different from each other in many respects that will be talked about in this article. Not knowing these differences or trying to blur the differences between the two concepts can lead to a lot of wastage of time and money. Both the tools are extremely important, and a heady mix of the two is what is required to create the desired impact.
Making use of mass media to remain in touch with the intended audiences is what is advertising all about. Advertising requires buying time slots to air messages or commercials about the company or its products on electronic media while, in print media, advertising is buying space to get the advertisement published. Advertising is an important tool for marketing a company and its products. Since advertising requires spending money to buy time slots and spaces, a company sees to it that the program or magazine it uses for advertisement is seen or read by the intended audiences or at least has a kind of reach that will take the products of the company to a maximum number of potential customers.
Whether you are making use of newspapers, radio, TV, or internet for advertising, you need to pay for the content you want the audiences to see or read. An advertiser has control over where he wants the content to be placed in a newspaper though he pays more or less depending upon the size and page number in a newspaper, as well. He is in control of the content too. One feature of advertising that many are not aware of is that some people are suspicious of the sponsored content and do not rely on the information.
Publicity is a great tool for marketing a company or its products. It is one of the tools for creating positive awareness about a company. It is a tool that costs less but has a great impact on the intended audience. It is also called media relations by some publicists as it is a method to convince reporters and publishers that a particular product or service is newsworthy. When media chooses a company, product, service, or an event and says or describes it on its own, it is referred to as publicity. Media considers it a task of its own to inform the public about things and events while the company or the product gains free coverage in the bargain.
However, there is no control of the publicity seeker over the content of publicity unless the publicity seeker makes use of public relations officers to impress media and to suppress negative coverage. On the other hand, it is foolhardy to expect every news story or article to be a result of media finding stories. Much of what is published in magazines and newspapers and telecast on radio and TV are a result of convincing by media managers about the newsworthiness of companies and products. Publicity is thus free content about a company or an individual that appears in print or electronic media without the company or the individual paying for it.
What is the difference between Advertising and Publicity?
• Advertising and publicity are two different tools to promote a company, product, or an individual.
• Advertising is paid form of marketing while publicity is a free tool of marketing or promotion.
• Advertising is a controlled form of promotion where the advertiser controls the content and the time slot if the commercial is meant for radio or TV.
• Advertising is sometimes not seen as reliable, and many become suspicious when they know that the article or program is sponsored.
• Publicity depends upon media relations, and good media relations can help in suppressing negative information about a company or a product.