PR vs. Marketing vs. Publicity vs. Advertising. War of the Words

Words matter. But does it matter in the public relations (PR) and marketing business?

If it matters anywhere, it matters in marketing. We have had many meetings when clients say something like, “we need some publicity for this new initiative.” To us, “publicity” means media relations — working with reporters to get articles and TV segments for the client. To the client, it could mean taking out an ad. In one case, the client was referring to billboards.

So it is important to define terms and everybody be on the same page. That’s why organizations hire PR / marketing firms to create strategies. But when talking with one another, defining what terms mean, and what makes the most effective marketing sense, can make all the difference in the world.

Marketing a Fundraiser

If you are a nonprofit, you probably hold an annual fundraising event.  It could be a gala, sporting event or one of a myriad of other events.  These serve two purposes.  First, to raise funds, of course, but also to being awareness and PR to your agency.

Putting together a successful fundraising event is not easy.  It takes lots of hard work, time, planning and initially an outlaying of funds.  And who knows how successful it will be? You won’t until the event is over and you subtract expenses from income.

One suggestion is to have a strong committee.  This committee’s role will be to create a dynamic program, bring talent to the table and most important to sell tickets.  And ticket sales, to a large degree, depends on having strong honorees.

Many people don’t like being an honoree because then the floodgates open for other organizations to ask them.  But getting honorees who have influence and funds, can be crucial to a strong fundraising event.

Last, it may take a few years to start making money.  Look at a fundraising event as a long-term investment that takes time.  It will eventually pay off.


The Weinstein PR Debacle

Harvey Weinstein debacle

Harvey Weinsetin

Few examples of a sudden fall from grace come close to the case of Harvey Weinstein.  One day he is king of Hollywood, the next he can’t get a seat at a McDonald’s in Hollywood.  Some call it a PR disaster.  It is much more.

The term “casting couch” wasn’t invented yesterday or by Weinstein.  It has been part of Hollywood for decades.  But with social media, and the 24 hour news cycle, what was once a news story can be turned into a major global debacle.

Weinstein will try all he can to re-build his image by going to “sex therapy.”  He will fight for his company and try to get his life back.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but it seems futile.

As they say, its a short step from the limousine to the curb.