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?
The best presentations are those that tell a story and relate to an audience at an emotional level. Often PR practitioners propose solutions or ideas that will ultimately result in positive outcomes. By incorporating unique creativity into a presentation, the audience will not only be engaged but will also have a better understanding of the story. I found a very clever video presentation called, PRWeb in Plain English. This video was created by Common Craft and describes quite simply the benefits of using PRWeb’s newswire service to enhance the visibility of online news releases. This isn’t a conventional visual presentation by any means. It incorporates hand-drawn characters and paper cutouts that tell the story of PRWeb’s services and how they relate to you, the viewer. Occasionally hands appear in the video, shifting the paper cutouts and even gesturing emotions. In some ways, it’s corny, but it’s also very creative and fun to watch. The voiceover flows smoothly over the story, which is illustrated with sketches and cutouts in a clear, simplistic way. This kind of visual presentation might not be appropriate for every professional situation, however the storytelling demonstrated in the video is useful for PR practitioners because it channels creativity and emphasizes clarity and simplicity. These are important things to keep in mind when developing presentations, especially since attention spans don’t last very long. At one point in this video, hand-drawn PR pitches are flowing down a “River of News” while journalists, analysts, consumers and bloggers hold fishing rods along the current waiting to pick information with keywords that interest them. Clarity, appropriateness and storytelling are key components to be mindful of when reaching out to an audience. As PR practitioners it’s important to be aware of not only PRWeb’s services, but to also recognize similar storytelling techniques in this video that might enhance our presentations.
There is a lot of emphasis put on storytelling in PR. So how do you tell a story? Can a logo tell a story for you? I think it really depends on how you decide to display your logo to the public, especially if it is a new logo. The Pepsi rebranding campaign, referred to by bloggers as the “Pepsi 25”, is a good example of how to present a new logo in a fresh and interesting way. Pepsi decided to pick 25 bloggers and send them empty cans that progressed from the oldest logo all the way through to the newest one they have just come out with. Since there are so many different media outlets nowadays, the only way to truly get across to your audience is to create an experience or a story behind your campaign. In Seth Godin’s blog Your Brand is Not Your Logo he expresses that it is far more important to put your time, money, and effort into creating the experience instead of an expensive logo. Pepsi basically created a timeline of their logos and the change the Pepsi can has endured throughout the years and sent them to some of the most influential bloggers on the Web. This campaign not only got bloggers attention but also told Pepsi’s story in a very interesting way. Bravo.