What’s The Difference Between Press and Publicity

When it comes to marketing and building a business, many people use certain terms interchangeably. However, there are big differences between marketing, advertising, and your press and publicity department. Let’s take a look between some of the different terms including press and publicity.

What is Press?

Press is actually a bit of a slang term. It is a synonym for the media. So if you’re striving to get “press” it means that you want to be covered by the news media. The news media includes television, newspapers, news websites like CNN, newswires, along with magazines. When you write and distribute a press release it is with the goal to get press or to be covered by these media.

What’s PR?

“Public relations” is another term that’s often used interchangeably with “press.” However, it’s actually quite different. Public relations or PR is the branch of your business that manages the spread of information about your business. Public relations can encompass everything from your press releases to your social media interactions. It’s about shaping the image of your company, so branding is part of public relations, as are your content and press releases. The P stands for public and the public is anyone that can or does have an opinion about your company.

What is Publicity?

Publicity is where it all starts to get a little confusing. It’s actually a type of promotion that relies on the effect of a news story to create an image. Publicity is something that is generally created by someone outside of the company. For example, a rave review by a client that’s posted on Facebook might be considered publicity. You don’t generally have any control over the content or placement of publicity. However you can capitalize on it by paying attention to what people are saying about you and using it to market your business.

Pulling it All Together

You write a press release with the goal of a journalist or “the press” picking it up and running a story on it. The story that’s run is considered publicity. It’s a piece of content that is created by an independent source about your business. When you use that article written about your business and share it with your audience, that’s considered public relations. You’re using the article to shape the image of your company.

Should you have a formal public relations department? It depends on the size of your company and the existing workload. Often, a public relations strategy can be part of your marketing department.

Catch up on the rest of your content marketing news and strategy