Publicity - Meaning, Importance, Types & Example

Published in Marketing and Strategy Terms by MBA Skool Team

What is Publicity?

Publicity is the phenomenon of increased awareness and coverage about a person, product or a service through media leading to increased or decreased sales and revenue depending upon the effect on the potential customers. It is mostly a way to project your company or a brand in front of the potential customer in a planned and structured manner but publicity can be unplanned also and may lead to expected or unexpected outcomes. Publicity generally gives the authority of an independent voice. It may turn helpful in increasing the sales from the potential customers. Publicity is not restricted to products or services only but can be attributed to politics, entertainment, arts, artists, documentaries etc.

The cost associated with publicity is usually less as compared to the other marketing activities like promotion and advertising which cost sums of money for the people. Public relations is the field which organizes the process of publicity in a controlled way.

Publicity Categories

Publicity can be both positive as well as negative.


If a publicity event reinforces and improves the brand image, it can be termed as positive publicity. Positive publicity events are mostly planned and works in favor of the product or service.


If it causes loss to the organization through increased coverage and awareness, it can be termed as negative. Negative publicity can be a result of some news or event which didn't result in expected outcome.

Many times, if a person or company are in news for wrong reasons, the other brands and products associated with them can suffer.

Other way to look at publicity is :

Planned Publicity

Publicists and PR teams plan proper publicity partnerships and tie ups through interviews, product placements, campaigns etc.

Unplanned Publicity

Sometimes publicity can happen without the company planning the same. It can be triggered through some news article or something said in an interview. These days with social media, there is a lot of information available and many a times we hear that a certain thing has gone viral. There can be multiple triggers leading to publicity of a person, company or an event. These again can be positive or negative.

Types of Publicity

Publicity can be of different types depending on the channels and methods used. Below are the few types:

1. News

News coverage can help a brand a lot in increasing awareness.

2. Press Release

A press release published across various channels can again help in publicity.

PR departments of organizations normally do timely press releases to inform about various offerings by a company.

3. Product Release

New Product Release is an opportunity for an organization to do publicity. We see a lot of stalls in exhibitions and trade events where people can see the brand or the product and form an impression.

If they like it, they may buy it. In the modern world, people can create buzz on the social media through posts and pictures.

4. Emergency

In an emergency event, a company can use its product offering for publicity but they should be careful as being an emergency event it is very critical for the product to be beneficial to the public else can result in negative publicity for the organization.

5. Conferences

Conferences can be used for publicity by organizations on some particular theme or topic. Conferences can be good way to do publicity given it gets good news coverage along with it.

6. Events

Events like conferences are used by companies to do Publicity around a product or a service.

7. Offers

Various offers can be floated to publicize product or a service.

8. Social Media

With the rise in internet and smartphones, social media has become one of the most obvious platforms for publicity. Companies may do a planned publicity event or there can be many instances of publicity done by fans and followers. It may again be positive or negative.


Importance of Publicity

Publicity is quite important in gaining awareness about a product, service or a person. It is similar to marketing but the difference is that marketing focuses on selling but it is only about awareness. It can prove to be very critical in success of brands especially in the initial phase of launch. We see lot of publicity happening during early days of a brand or a product.

Advantages of Publicity

1. The cost of publicity is very less i.e. coming from an unsolicited newspaper or through social media doesn’t cost anything to the company.

2. It ensures credibility as the consumers expect a significant level of bias or exaggeration in the advertisements a company produces about its services or products. However, third-party sources, such as blogs, online reviews and magazines are often considered less biased. This is specifically true with trusted sources, such as longstanding publication houses or well-regarded professional reviewers. Publicity from non-affiliated parties can often seem more trustworthy in the eyes of your targeted customers.

3. Consistent publicity helps a company strengthen its brand as it gives a company a way to prove its customers its worth.

4. Innovation is very important in increasing your reach and building loyalty among the customers. If good reviews start coming up for a brand it often build the other public relations companies interested in the company.

5. It open doors for more opportunities and help build relationships with more number of high net worth companies.

6. It helps you go viral. Ads don’t go viral on their own publicity help them. Word of mouth is a successful tool that drives more business for a company.

Disadvantages of Publicity

1. Damage brand equity in long term because of bad publicity. It is applicable for companies with health hazards and safety issues.

2. Brand association will be damaged as changing the customer’s perception is very difficult.

3. Loss of trust

Publicity Examples

1. When new movies are about to be released, we see a rise of publicity in the news about the movie and the star cast. There is a lot of social media activity by the movie cast and crew. The objective is to do publicity of the movie so that more people are aware of the release and watch the movie.

2. When a new car is launched in the market, we see the car in various trade events and exhibitions available for test drive. This is also a way through which publicity is done as this may lead to increased activity on social media about the car which is good for the brand.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Publicity along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 1800 business concepts from 5 categories.

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