What is Publicity? Mention the types of Publicity.

Publicity is unpaid for communication, usually impersonal and appearing to emanate from sources other than the marketeer. Publicity takes place when media, on subtle persuasion or otherwise, carries an article or news items about the marketeer or the good/services offered. Publicity is more credible than advertisements when it is seen as originating from the medium or some other person not the marketeer.

Types of Publicity

Media Publicity: The tools of publicity are

  • Press release,
  • Press conferences,
  • Conducted visits (familiarizing / FAM trips),
  • Presentations,
  • Informal briefings,
  • Sponsored articles.

In the case of a hotel/resort, news may relate to the facilities and conveniences in the property events like marriages, seminars, exhibitions, inaugurals or sports that may like place in the property and important persons who may visit the property. Publicity will be carried by the media if the activities and messages are:

  • Interesting,
  • Timely,
  • Accurate, and
  • Newsworthy.

Sponsoring is excellent publicity. A leading hotel group (Taj/ITC etc) might sponsor a cricket match or a TV serial and gain publicity. International tourism promotion depends heavily on publicity. A new airline route is an occasion for publicity. So is a report in the newspaper regarding an event of package. For example, “Palace on the wheels” is being remodelled. This was a news in the newspapers.

The impact was much more than any advertisement could have. This news was carried also by the TV. The details and the descriptions create image of a unique experience and tourists thinking of going to India would ‘desire’ to savour the same.

Oral Publicity:

Word of mouth publicity is very effective. It is said that source of information are credible according to a hierarchy. In descending order of credibility are:

  • Intimate family,
  • Professional friends,
  • Professional colleagues,
  • Retailer’s representatives, and
  • Producer’s. representatives.

Word of mouth is more effective than advertisement. An endorsement by one who has used the services more reliable and impact than an advertisement. You ask about the destination from your friends and tell them the one you have experienced. In most cases, you search for a person who has experienced the services to seek information like where did you stay? Was the stay comfortable? Or how was the bed tea?

Therefore, it is a good strategy to encourage customers to talk of satisfaction. Develop materials that customer can pass on. Cultivate opinion leaders and emphasis conveniences. Any customer who perceives special value not commonly available elsewhere, is a potential medium for word of mouth publicity. Contacts with customer can be maintained through:

  • Bulletins, mentioning new facilities or up-gradation of existing ones,
  • Greetings, gifts or souvenirs, and
  • Invitation to revisit offering special item/services.

In case of tourism, the travel agencies, hoteliers, airlines etc. are part of the services and also part of the promotion. The personnel in these organizations provide service. They also depend upon by tourists for information and advice. They are a useful ‘word of mouth ‘ media. Such personnel may be taken to the facilities and destination and made to experience the services and attractions.

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