So I came across a post on Seth Godin’s Blog called “The Difference Between PR and Publicity” and found it extremely interesting. I guess I have never really sat down and thought to myself that maybe these two words could mean different things. I just assumed that PR practitioners create publicity and that was about it. However, after reading this blog I have found that maybe there is a bit more to it.
Seth Godin says that most PR firms “do publicity” not PR. He says that publicity is getting ink for your client. It’s about getting unpaid media to draw attention to you, point to you, write you up and cause commotion. Where as PR is the crafting of your story and “focused examination of your interactions and tactics and products and pricing that, when combined determine how people talk to you.”
He mentions the work of the Silicon Valley Marketing Guru Regis McKenna, who got Steve Jobs and the Mac on the cover of more than 30 magazine covers the year it was launched. Godin notes that this was great publicity however, the brilliant PR was in the crafting of the story of the Mac.
According to Godin, a publicity firm will tell you how they got a client ink. Whereas, a PR firm will tell you how they spread their client’s story through great storytelling. He says they might even suggest you not bother getting ink or even issuing a press release.
Now that you have heard Seth Godin’s separate definitions of PR and Publicity what do you think about these two words? Did you know that there was such a dividing line between the two? And do you agree that PR practitioners, who’s jobs are to tell stories, might suggest not to bother with issuing press releases?