Our first week in Publicity, we discussed what publicity means, the relation between publicity and persuasion, and message development. We were asked the question “What is publicity?” and my group went a little overboard and came up with an actual definition: “Using strategies and tactics to actively attempt to control the public’s opinion or perception about a subject.” This basically means persuasion. You cant have one without the other (publicity=persuasion). So I started to wonder: What actually “persuades” me?
Just an example… When a commercial comes on, the first thing that decides whether Im going to be persuaded to buy/use/research a product is whether it is something that interests or is relevant to me. For example, if a commercial about hair loss came on, I would probably change the channel. However, if a commercial for a new workout dvd came on, I might be more interested. These are random products/situations, but my point is relevance and interest are so important to persuasion and publicity.
Our group chose women’s self defense as our topic. This is relevant to women because it’s women’s self defense (self-explanatory) and it’s relevant to men because of the women in their life: mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters, daughters, etc. Sometimes relevance is not as obvious. Our job as PR practitioners is to point out the relevance, which leads to more publicity for our product/organization.