What is Publicity?

Legal Definition
Publicity (from French publicité, from public ‘public’) is the movement of information to the general public from the media. The subjects of publicity includes people (for example, politicians and performing artists), goods and services, organizations, and works of art or entertainment.

Publicity is gaining public visibility or awareness for a product, service or your company via the media. It is the publicist that carries out publicity, while PR is the strategic management function that helps an organization communicate, establishing and maintaining communication with the public. This can be done internally, without the use of media.

From a marketing perspective, publicity is one component of promotion and marketing. The other elements of the promotional mix are advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing and personal selling. Examples of promotional tactics include:

  • Announce an appointment
  • Arrange a speech or talk
  • Arrange for a testimonial
  • Art people
  • Conduct a poll or survey
  • Event sponsorship
  • Invent then present an award
  • Issue a commendation
  • Issue a report
  • Make an analysis or prediction
  • Organize a tour of your business or projects
  • Stage a debate
  • Take a stand on a controversial subject

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 series, 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 according to the fact.

"Publicity is not merely an assembly of competing messages: it is a language in itself which is always being used to make the same general proposal," writes the art critic John Berger. "It proposes to each of us that we transform ourselves, or our lives by buying. .publicity is not paid for something more."

Publicity is often referred to as the result of public relations in terms of providing favourable information to media and any third party outlets; these may including bloggers, mainstream media, as well as new media forms such as podcasts. All this is done to provide a message to consumers without having to pay for direct time or space. This in return creates awareness and carries out more credibility as well. After the message has been distributed, the publicist in charge of the information will lose control on how the message is used and interpreted, much different to the way it works in advertising. According to Grunig, public relations is often reduced to publicity. He also states how publicity is a form of activity in which should be associated with the sales promotion effort of a company, in order to help aid advertising and personal salesmanship as well. Kent also stated that the doing of publicity can help attract attention whilst also supplying information regarding a specific organization or individual client and any event, activity or attribute associated with them.

The use of publicity is also known to be an important strategic element and promotional tool due to its effect of intentional exposure over a consumer, this helps publicity gain a beneficial advantage over other marketing aspects such as Advertising alongside its high credibility. Favourable publicity is also created through reputation management in which organizations try strive to control via the web. Furthermore, despite the fact that publicity, both good or bad, can be beneficial for an organization, company or client, much of it is paid for despite claims that publicity is often free. Despite publicity being an influential benefit within the marketing sector, one disadvantage which highly affects publicity, is the lack of ability in which publicity cannot be repeated as such compared to advertising.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
The right of publicity prevents the unauthorized commercial use of an individual's name, likeness, or other recognizable aspects of one's persona. It gives an individual the exclusive right to license the use of their identity for commercial promotion.

In the United States, the right of publicity is largely protected by state common or statutory law. Only about half the states have distinctly recognized a right of publicity. Of these, many do not recognize a right by that name but protect it as part of the Right of Privacy. The Restatement Second of Torts recognizes four types of invasions of privacy: intrusion, appropriation of name or likeness, unreasonable publicity, and false light. See Restatement (Second) Of Torts §§ 652A - 652I. Under the Restatement's formulation, the invasion of the right of publicity is most similar to the unauthorized appropriation of one's name or likeness. See Restatement (Second) of Torts § 652C, comments a & b, illustrations 1 & 2.

In other states, the right of publicity is protected through the law of unfair competition. Actions for the tort of misappropriation or for a wrongful attempt to "pass off" the product as endorsed or produced by the individual help to protect the right of publicity. See Unfair competition.

If a person can establish an aspect of his or her identity as a trademark, protection may be provided by Federal law. See Trademark.

The Federal Lanham Act can also provide protection where a person's identity is used to falsely advertise a product or designateits origin. See § 1125 of The Lanham Act.
  • See also:
    • The Right of Privacy
    • The Right of Privacy: Access to Personal Information
    • The Right of Privacy: Personal Autonomy
Legal Definition
The promotion of a news item by mass mdia such as television, radio, newspaper or internet about an event. This is not a sales promotion for items for sale. This type of promotion is usually free of charge.
Legal Definition
The doing of a thing in the view of all persons who choose to be present.

2. The law requires that courts should be open to the public, there can therefore be no secret tribunal, except the grand jury (q. v.) and all judgments are required to be given in public.

3. Publicity must be given to the acts of the legislature before they can be in force, but in general their being recorded in a certain public office is evidence of their publicity. Vide Promulgation; Publication.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary