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Marketing Overview (Part 2): Publicity

By: Cliff Hauser

This article is part of a presentation given in panel form at a seminar at California State University in January, 1999 by Cliff Hauser, President of Hauser Advertising. Mr. Hauser has also guest-lectured at Art Center in Pasadena. Hauser Advertising is a full service advertising firm specializing in marketing and branding-driven advertising. For philosophy and portfolios, you may visit them at

Over time, we've found that a clarification of the three principal disciplines for implementing marketing strategy can prove helpful to those trying to better understand the field because it is easy for the uninitiated to confuse one with another. The three areas are: Advertising, Publicity and Promotion. This second article contains a VERY basic overview of Publicity as it differs
from Advertising.


Publicity, or Public Relations, is the art of obtaining exposure for your product without directly paying for it. This is done primarily by creating reasons for journalist to believe that their readers/viewers want to know about your product--that it is newsworthy and selling them on this idea. The good publicist comes up with several ideas ("hooks") and persuades the journalist that it is in his/her best interest to cover the product. This conversation is called a "pitch."

Public Relations differs from Advertising in two primary ways. First, it is free in that you do not pay for coverage as you pay for space for advertising. Second, it has more credibility because it has not been paid for. In fact, if the journalist is well known, they may inadvertently turn into a highly desirable unpaid spokesperson for your product. For these reasons, publicity is a very powerful part of your marketing plan if executed properly.

The major disadvantage to publicity is that, because you are not paying the final source for space or coverage, you do not have control of that coverage. There may be a lot, or there may be little or none. It may come too early, too late, or just at the right moment. It may be positive, or it may be negative. But when it is positive and widespread, it is tremendously effective, again because of the two primary ways in which it differs from Advertising. It is an essential part of the marketing mix.

In our next segment, we will talk about Promotion and how it differs from Advertising and Publicity as part of your marketing plan.

Part one: Advertising

Part three: Promotion

© Copyright 1999, Cliff Hauser, Hauser

Other Articles by Cliff Hauser

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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