AskDefine | Define publicity

Dictionary Definition

publicity n : a message issued in behalf of some product or cause or idea or person or institution [syn: promotion, promotional material, packaging]

User Contributed Dictionary



From publicité.


  1. Advertising or other activity designed to rouse public interest in something.
  2. Public interest attracted in this way.
  3. The condition of being the object of public attention.

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Publicity is the deliberate attempt to manage the public's perception of a subject. The subjects of publicity include people (for example, politicians and performing artists), goods and services, organizations of all kinds, and works of art or entertainment.
From a marketing perspective, publicity is one component of promotion. The other elements of the promotional mix are advertising, sales promotion, and personal selling. Promotion is one component of marketing.
But the publicist cannot wait around for the news to present opportunities. They must also try to create their own news. Examples of this include:
  • Contest
  • Art exhibitions
  • Event sponsorship
  • Arrange a speech or talk
  • Make an analysis or prediction
  • Conduct a poll or survey
  • Issue a report
  • Take a stand on a controversial subject
  • Arrange for a testimonial
  • Announce an appointment
  • Invent then present an award
  • Stage a debate
  • Organize a tour of your business or projects
  • Issue a commendation
The advantages of publicity are low cost, and credibility (particularly if the publicity is aired in between news stories like on evening TV news casts). New technologies such as weblogs, web cameras, web affiliates, and convergence (phone-camera posting of pictures and videos to websites) are changing the cost-structure. The disadvantages are lack of control over how your releases will be used, and frustration over the low percentage of releases that are taken up by the media.
Publicity draws on several key themes including birth, love, and death. These are of particular interest because they are themes in human lives which feature heavily throughout life. In television serials several couples have emerged during crucial ratings and important publicity times, as a way to make constant headlines. Also known as a publicity stunt, the pairings may or may not be truthful.


A publicist is a person whose job is to generate and manage publicity for a product, public figure, especially a celebrity, or for a work such as a book or movie. Publicists usually work at large companies handling multiple clients.

Effectiveness of publicity

The theory any press is good press has been coined to describe situations where bad behaviour by people involved with an organization or brand has actually resulted in positive results, due to the fame and press coverage accrued by such events.
One example would be the Australian Tourism Board's "So where the Bloody Hell are you?" Advertising Campaign that was initially banned in the UK, but the amount of publicity this generated resulted in the official website for the campaign being swamped with requests to see the banned ad.
The popular sitcom, Married... with Children, achieved skyrocketing ratings after moralist Terry Rakolta attempted to have it removed from the air.


publicity in French: Publicité
publicity in Japanese: パブリシティー

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

PR, acclaim, account, acquaintance, advertising, announcement, ballyhoo, blue book, blurb, briefing, bright light, broadcasting, buildup, bulletin, celebrity, character, commercial, common knowledge, communication, communique, cry, currency, data, datum, daylight, directory, dispatch, eclat, enlightenment, evidence, exposure, facts, factual information, fame, familiarization, famousness, figure, gen, general information, glare, glory, guidebook, handout, hard information, hard sell, hoopla, hue and cry, incidental information, info, information, instruction, intelligence, knowledge, kudos, light, limelight, maximum dissemination, mention, message, name, notice, notification, notoriety, notoriousness, plug, popularity, presentation, press notice, press-agentry, promotion, promotional material, promulgation, proof, propaganda, public eye, public knowledge, public relations, public report, publication, publicity story, publicness, puff, puffery, reclame, recognition, release, renown, report, reputation, repute, sidelight, spotlight, statement, the bubble reputation, the dope, the goods, the know, the scoop, transmission, vogue, white book, white paper, word, write-up
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