Difference Between Publicity and Public Relations

Lately, you may have heard about two constant things, like some celebrity or a brand does a thing, and people either call it a publicity stunt or some say it is just a PR thing working behind the scenes, right? But let’s say you have heard of these words, but don’t know what they actually mean. Well, if that’s where you stand, then worry not, you are about to know the actual difference between publicity and public relations because that’s what we are all about today. Here we will not just talk definitions, nah, we’ll go over some key differences between these two, so yeah, let’s get to it then, shall we?

Publicity and Public Relations


So, you’ve heard about publicity, right? It’s all about stealing the spotlight, but in a good way, well, mostly. Let’s say you are flipping through your social media feed or the news, and bam, there’s this story or a post that just grabs your eyeballs. That, my friend, is publicity doing its thing. It’s the art (yeah, we’d call it an art) of getting people to talk about, well, whatever it is you want them in on. Could be your next big thing, a product launch, or just something cool happening. The goal? Well, it is just to make it as visible as the stars in the night sky. Doesn’t really matter what it is or is it good or kinda controversial, you know, as long as it’s out there, it’s game.

Public Relations (PR)

Now, on the flip side, we’ve got PR, and let me tell you, it’s a whole different ball game. PR is all about crafting that picture-perfect image and making sure it sticks, well for long enough, that’s pretty much the goal. It’s the behind-the-scenes magic that ensures everyone from your employees to that neighbor who’s always peeking over the fence sees you in a shining light. And it’s not just for the here and now, nah, PR’s playing the long game, aiming to weave your name into the fabric of greatness through nothing short of communication wizardry. We’re talking about doing whatever you can, and basically making sure the world knows you’re not just another face in the crowd.

Key Differences Between Publicity and Public Relations

1. Control

Now, diving straight into the heart of it, publicity is kinda unpredictable, running free, and honestly, not really under your control. It thrives on whatever the media is buzzing about, which could swing your brand’s fame up or down in the blink of an eye, depending on what’s being chatted about. Public relations, on the flip side, is more like a chess game, it’s strategic, calculated, and yeah, you guessed it, all about keeping that control in your hands you know?

2. Nature

Publicity can literally be your best friend or your worst nightmare, with no heads-up given. It’s all about being ready for a rollercoaster ride that can flip your brand’s image overnight. But then, there’s PR, standing tall as the beacon of positive vibes, consistently molding and leveling up your brand’s face to shine bright in the crowd. It’s about sending out those good signals, on purpose, making sure every whisper about you in the public sphere is nothing but music to the ears you know?

3. Communication Type

Jumping into the mix, publicity grabs onto the media’s spotlight without dropping a dime, riding on the waves of trending stories and social buzz. It’s opportunistic, sure, but yeah, it gets the word out. PR, though, it’s a whole different ball game. It’s about mixing the paid gigs with the heartfelt shoutouts, crafting stories, and building bridges with your audience that stand the test of time. Think of it as laying down the roots for a trust-filled relationship with the crowd/public.

4. Objectives

Publicity is all about that instant spotlight, craving the “look at me” moment for a brand or an event. It’s the here and now, loud and clear. PR, however, is the mastermind playing the long game, eyeing the horizon with goals bigger than just a tiny moment of fame. It’s about shaping minds, building loyal troops, and making sure your brand isn’t just seen but felt and remembered.

5. Execution

Here’s the thing: publicity is like surfing; you ride the waves as they come, reactive and ready to pivot. It’s spontaneous, exciting, but yeah, you’re not really in charge of where you’re heading. PR? That’s you at the helm, charting the course with precision, engaging with your audience in a way that says, “We’ve got this,” ensuring your brand’s narrative is sung just the way you wrote it.

6. Target Audience

Publicity casts a wide net, aiming to catch anyone and everyone’s eyes, hoping to bring in as much attention as possible. It’s a bit of a gamble, really. But PR, that’s where the magic of focus comes in. It’s about knowing who matters most and whispering directly into their ears, crafting messages that hit home and resonate on a much deeper level.

7. Duration and Sustainability

Ever noticed how some news just explodes overnight and then vanishes into thin air before you’ve had your morning coffee? That’s publicity for you! Public relations, though? It’s the one, constant and unwavering, aiming to etch a positive image in the stone of time, fostering relationships that aren’t just for the season but for a good reason, and hopefully, for all seasons to come you know?

8. Measurement of Success

If you’re playing the publicity game, your scoreboard is all about how much buzz you can create like the more, the merrier, the louder, the prouder. But, stepping into the realm of public relations, it’s like entering a whole new dimension where success isn’t just about the noise but about hitting the right notes, improving how folks see you, winning over stakeholders, and really nailing those big-picture goals.


That’s pretty much it. Now, whenever you see the whole publicity stunt thing or the PR team working for a brand or a celebrity, you’ll be able to identify and know what is actually going on. And we hope that our today’s post has helped you with that in some way possible.

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