ZIMSEC O Level Business Studies Notes: Marketing: Promotional Publicity

  • Is a type of promotion that relies mainly on press releases to the media
  • Although this often involves mass communication promotional publicity distinguishes itself from advertising in that the information is published for free
  • Thus this type of promotion that relies on public relations effect of a news story which will be carried usually free by mass media
  • The main objective of publicity is not sales promotion,
  • but creation of an image through editorial or ‘independent source’ commentary.
  • While the publicist can control the content of the story,
  • he or she may not have any control over its placement or interpretation by the media.
  • With the rise of social media businesses have to consciously disseminate information about themselves
  • For example if there is a disaster or issue in the business publicity involves such things as
  • Making a public statement on the issue
  • Clarifying the business’s view points or interpretation
  • For example when BP was involved in a massive oil spill that caused damage to the oceans
  • They had to convey the message that they:
  • Have safety measures
  • They respect the environment
  • They are cooperating with the authorities etc
  • Failing to do this properly can cause irreparable damage to the business and its image and in extreme cases can even lead to liquidation of the business due to boycotts and litigation
  • In the modern era business now pay special attention to how they conduct themselves in addition to profits
  • Publicity adhering to the so called triple bottom line principle
  • This means the business might engage in corporate social responsibility activities such as helping the needy,
  • Cleaning streets,
  • Making donations to various charities and causes
  • The hope is that those events are covered by local media and in the process the businesses receives free promotion
  • New product launches especially for innovative products receive great interest and free promotion from the media
  • For example the launch of Google, Apple and Microsoft products often receives great media attention which partly  the successes of products such as the iPhone

To access more topics go to the O Level Business Notes

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