I bookmarked this post by Seth Godin about the differences between PR and Publicity.  In it he says:

Most PR firms do publicity, not PR. –

Publicity is the act of getting ink. Publicity is getting unpaid media to pay attention, write you up, point to you, run a picture, make a commotion. Sometimes publicity is helpful, and good publicity is always good for your ego.

But it’s not PR.

PR is the strategic crafting of your story. It’s the focused examination of your interactions and tactics and products and pricing that, when combined, determine what and how people talk about you.

I think there is a time and place for both.   When you launch a new webiste, relocate your office, or hire a new employee, a simple press release will do, and in that case, what Seth defines as publicity will suffice.   On a weekly basis, we distribute 10 – 15 press releses for small businesses here in Indianapolis.  The objective,is to get a mention in the IBJ, IndyStar, or on Inside Indiana Business. More important then the ink is the additional bonus of on-line visiblity that lasts and lasts, as web pages never go away, so neither do the links! 

But everynow and then, we have a client with a great story.  A story too big for just a press releaase.  And that calls for real PR.  Those are the fun projects, when we get to brainstorm about how to best tell the story.  Those don’t come around as often, but they are fun when they do. 

Do you have a story to tell?  Then we would love to talk to you!