The Difference Between the “Three P’s” – Public Relations, Publicity and Press Releases

It’s commonly assumed that PR means “press release” but this is misleading and frankly, not true. “PR does not = Press Release” although, press releases are directly related to PR. Often people are unsure of what PR, publicity and press releases really are. They are all related but each is different and has its own function which works symbiotically with the others.

PR is actually an abbreviation for public relations. Press releases are a part of public relations and they generate publicity but they are not PR (they are a part of PR). At the same time, press releases may generate good public relations.

Are you getting confused yet? Let’s simplify this by taking a quick look at the definitions of each provided by the Wictionary (a great, open source dictionary) and Websters Dictionary (my hard copy favorite).

By definition, Public Relations is communication by a person or an organization with the purpose of creating a favorable public image; commonly referred to as PR.

So, in essence, Public Relations are really the strategies surrounding your overall business presence and message. PR is the foundation that allows you to be ready for publicity when it comes your way it’s your core message, business values and image. While any form of communication can be considered public relations including newsletters, ezines, letters, blog posts and yes, press releases, they must all be a part of a much bigger PR strategy.).

Publicity is what is generated by public relations. By definition, Publicity is an act or device designed to attract public interest, specifically information with news value issues as a means of gaining public attention or support.

When you create public relations (communications) it can generate publicity (public attention). Generally the goal of publicity is to gain UNPAID media exposure including ink (print exposure) and air (broadcast mentions), increase word of mouth and get more clients. Publicity is golden to your business because third party endorsements are more believable than paid ads.

By definition a Press Release is an official written statement that is sent to the media so that it can be publicized (although press releases are not crafted just for the media anymore).

Press releases are often referred to as news releases. They are essentially one in the same. However, the term “News release” can be used when the release is not intended solely for media distribution. For example: Online distribution of your news is a no-cost to low-cost way to establish credibility, help customers find you online and increase your online search engine rankings. So, the goal may not be mainstream media attention when you submit online and it would be appropriate to use the term “news release” instead. Either way is perfectly acceptable.

Basically press releases are both a public relations and publicity tool depending on your overall strategy.

Does your business have the three P’s (public relations, publicity and press releases) covered?

1) Do you have an overall Public Relations Strategy that defines your brand, how you want people to perceive you and what you want to accomplish in the way of publicity?

2) Do you create public relations materials to earn publicity based on a specific overall strategy?

3) Do you share your news via press releases, strategically in accordance to your overall PR plan?

If not, it may be time to start focusing on your P’s

P.S. When writing this article I was looking for a great example to share from an article I had once seen in Readers Digest- thanks to Shannon Cherry ( a fellow PR pro) for posting this excerpt on her blog.

“If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying “Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday'” that’s advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flower bed, that’s publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations.

If the town’s citizens go the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus, that’s sales.”

– Reader’s Digest, “Promoting Issues and Ideas” by M. Booth and Associates, Inc.

What are your favorite PR strategies? Do you have a PR plan?

Marketing of Public Relations in India

A Public Relations service is fast becoming a growing component of the communication segment that attaches itself to advertising and marketing companies, and other business firms. Due to the growing popularity of public relations services, more and more public relations agencies have come forward with their quality service through effective marketing. Public relations agencies act as an outstanding example of a perfect intermediary between advertising and marketing companies, business houses, and media houses and the consumers. Public relations firms take care of the need for an effective communication exchange between these stakeholders in the most efficient manner. Moreover, these public relations firms manage to unfalteringly provide the information needs of prominent brand managers, advertising and marketing communication professionals, advertising decision-makers, and media planning professionals, and so on. Many of the media professionals today are of the opinion that public relations is effectively heading straight to become the most prevailing advertising and marketing services discipline. The Indian domestic scenario related to public relations services shows a positive growth in the recent times. In fact, several of the leading public relations agencies in the country are putting their intelligence together to reach a stage of development that benefits all. The most effective formula for the success of public relations services is the presence of a favorable marketing ground for their services.

In the event of an economic slump, there are still a lot of companies and firms that are willing to continue with their purpose, although the amount of business gets somewhat slackened. In such a case, when it is very important to boost business and elevate the status of any particular company, the need for effective public relations is felt. It is very important to observe here that it is only due to the planning and strategies of public relations firms that business revives its position. Public relations firms present their business intelligence, creative approach, and energetic sales strategies to achieve their goals. As a result of the efforts of public relations, when the economy makes a u-turn towards normalcy, major business players obtain immense support, while companies of lesser status achieve a new high in their status. It becomes very crucial for various business enterprises dealing in all sorts of business to gain from the continued support and guidance of public relations services. In fact, a public relations is that part of the business industry that exists majorly for the development of business and national economy.

Loving Libraries – Why Using Your Public Library Should Be Habit-Forming

There are public library users of all levels: avid, frequent, sporadic, and absent. This article is for those who forget to use their local library system or don’t even have a library card. It is especially for those who have children or who want to be or are in business.

Public libraries are a treasure trove of free, already paid for, information and entertainment services. Here are some benefits that hopefully will rouse you to visit your public library to get a card if you don’t have one and to remember to use it. At a public library you can find:

1. Information on most any subject. If your library doesn’t have the book or material you need, it can bring it in for you from another library in the same system, or it may participate in a broader lending system.

2. Entertainment in the form of music CDs, cassettes, and movie DVDs. Recorded books make travel fly by, especially long driving trips.

3. Children’s entertainment and preparation for school learning through regular story time sessions and other special events provided for young children. These are especially valuable before and during the preschool years.

4. Motivating reading and writing programs for young people and adults. Book clubs/discussion groups, contests, and personal reading challenges (quantity and variety) occur throughout the year.

5. Special classes on a wide array of topics for business learning or personal growth in areas of special interests.

6. Resource librarians who can help search out the answers to your questions-your own personal advisers.

7. Meeting rooms for start-up businesses or for any need to meet with others to study or share information.

8. Materials to boost your career or business knowledge. How-to books can save real dollars over purchasing the advice and save time in not having to figure something out the hard way-on your own. A self-help book helped me prepare a case for small claims court. I felt completely organized and ready to present my case to the magistrate, and I won. The other party was unprepared and very weak.

9. Displays of artwork, historical pieces, and other subjects of interest.

10. A setting where manners and comfortable protocol still reign. In our chaotic world, libraries are still places of calm and respite. Librarians share knowledge freely and kindly.

Add words like free, no-charge, or complimentary to each of these ten items, and you will quickly see how much money you can save on an on-going basis by using this service you are entitled to use.

Libraries are gifts we give ourselves and our children. Libraries are community assets that give tirelessly for a small amount of tax money. Resolve to take your children and yourself much more often to your local library. If you have never been, go this week. Start and maintain a habit that will contribute to your well-being and nurture the foundation of the children you love.