Seth Godin on PR vs. Publicity

10 03 2009

mb-headshot3I just want to celebrate Seth Godin and the wisdom he demonstrates in his post “The Difference Between PR and Publicity.” I can’t really write what he wrote any better than how he wrote it. But I think it’s important for all clients to understand the difference between PR strategies/counsel and getting ink, and to demand that their agency delivers both.

 I also feel that an agency that delivers great press coverage without great strategy is performing some kind of miracle. For great press coverage is the result of great PR strategy — the two are not mutually exclusive. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how an agency can deliver results without strategy, or strategy without results. I seriously doubt that it’s possible.




2 responses

10 03 2009

Well I have to muddy the waters a bit. What is a strategy? An overused word for sure.
How many people think a macro-tactic is a strategy?

Sometimes we don’t have the luxury of being able to create a “strategy” or tell a meaningful story, we just need to get stuff done and show immediate results. Clients are often concerned with the short-term and taking the time to develop a well-thought out “strategy” can be perceived as slowing things down.

11 03 2009
Kristin Patterson

I wholeheartedly agree that PR and publicity are often times (unfortunately) used interchangeably. In addition to strategy, there are other, major differences between PR and publicity. The first is that publicity is inherently one-way communications – typically a press release being issued and, hopefully, picked up by the media. True public relations involves two-way communications in which there is an exchange of information. The client (or agency partner) listens and truly understands the needs of the audience in the formulation of a PR strategy. The second difference is that public relations doesn’t (and shouldn’t) automatically mean media relations. Your audience could be employees, influencers or others. Public relations is a management function that establishes mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its publics (only one of which may be the media).

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