Monday, November 10, 2008

How the Circus Explains PR

I was tweeting earlier today about how the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents Bellobration train was rolling into town and how busy the show is keeping me this week. The circus tweet reminded Ari B. Adler (a fellow Tweeter, blogger, PR/social media pro...and client!) about a creative definition of public relations that he shares with his students. I remember hearing this way back when in IPR 101 at CMU and I'm sure the majority of PR pros have come across this analogy at some point. I think it's fantastic and helps break down the distinction between various aspects of communications.

If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying 'Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday', that's advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that's promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor's flower bed, that's publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it on the evening news, that's public relations."

I wrote a similar post awhile back about a creative and humorous way to explain the differences between advertising, PR, marketing, etc. No matter which way you look at it, there's no denying that differences DO exist within these related fields!


Anonymous said...

That's a great quote. I will have to use that one on my parents to attempt to explain public relations for the millionth time.

Another good one is from Al Golin of Golin Harris- "Advertising is what you say about yourself, Public Relations is what your mother says about you."

metrogal84 said...

I do love this quote! Great analogy. I should probably put this on a piece of paper to give to everyone who asks what I do and highlight the PR part!

Plus, this is a thought for a future stunt we can pull with a precious pachyderm! ;)