Publicity is the non paid form of promotional tool which means getting the responses from the buyers due to the news put up in the mass media. It is also a non personal form of communication and does not involve the communication of the buyer and seller. As said by Philip Kotler: “Non-personal stimulation of demand for the product or service, or business unit by placing commercially significant news about it in public medium or obtaining favourable presentation of it upon radio, television, or stage that is not paid for by the sponsor.”
Characteristics of publicity
The characteristics of publicity are as under:
- It is non – paid form of communication which involves getting favourable responses from the buyers for the positive information revolving in the mass media. For example: launch of new product by Reliance industries.
- There is no identified sponsor for publicity because it is non – paid and it happens automatically after putting the newspaper, television news channels, radio, magazines start publishing the news.
- Objective behind publicity can be to introduce new and positive changes in the market or working of the organization, introduction of new products, display special achievements, etc.
- The organization does not have any control over publicity. It is done by the third part and the way it is presented, time, frequency etc cannot be controlled.
- It is an effective form of promotion as it is more likely to be read, viewed and seen by the public and people tend to believe the news displayed.
Objectives of publicity
- Improving or building corporate image: publicity is an important tool to build the goodwill of the organization as people trust the information and news displayed by the people by the new channels, radios, newspapers etc. When this news about the company and its products or policies is positive then the image improves.
- It is a less costly method of promotion. The companies who do not want to spend much on promotion can go for publicity wherein they need to organize the event and present the news and the news channels, reporters; columnists etc will display it to the public.
- The news is credible and people will believe it and it also helps in improving the product image in the market and thus helps in improving the sales of the firm. This will attract the people towards other products of the firm also.
- It is a medium to clarify the doubts and remove the bad image that may be created in the market by removing the misunderstandings of people.
- It helps in saving the efforts of the middlemen and the salesman as the publicity speaks for itself. The publicity of the product will help in persuading people to buy the product and thus fewer efforts will be required to attract the customers.
Although, publicity is beneficial tool but bad or negative publicity can ruin the image of the firm and may lead to loss of trust which leads to reduced sales and damaged brand associations. Due to less control over this medium, it becomes difficult to handle the frequency and accuracy of the news.