Archive for July 12th, 2011

Understanding the important distinction between publicity and PR

We made a point in the last post suggesting your marketing efforts mimic Lady Gaga’s hit song streak that she is a PR machine. Later, it occurred to me that some might think I misspoke, and should have said that Lady Gaga is a publicity machine rather than a PR machine, so I thought it might be helpful to explain the distinction between the two.

According to master marketer Seth Godin, the two are different, and PR is the much more important focus:

Publicity is the act of getting ink. Publicity is getting unpaid media to pay attention, write you up, point to you, run a picture, make a commotion. Sometimes publicity is helpful, and good publicity is always good for your ego.

But it’s not PR.

PR is the strategic crafting of your story. It’s the focused examination of your interactions and tactics and products and pricing that, when combined, determine what and how people talk about you.

And then there are the folks over at CopyBlogger, who make the following very clear distinctions between public relations and publicity:

Public relations implies that you have a public to relate with, and that’s who you are speaking to.

Publicity is something that helps you connect with people who don’t know about you yet, or those who may have heard about you, but are still on the fence.

Given these two expert explanations, it’s clear that Lady Gaga long ago surpassed the need for publicity; she truly has become a PR master.

Here’s a challenge for you

  • How will you craft YOUR story … as an author, as an expert, about the process of writing your book?
  • How do you want people to think and talk about and interact with you? 
  • What are you doing NOW to begin infusing that story into your public’s psyche?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions yet, it’s high time you start working on them!

Share your story … or the beginnings of your story … in the comments section below. We’ll do all we can to move it forward.



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