Difference Between Advertising, Promotion, Publicity, Public Relations and Marketing

Here is a clever marketing citation that has been circulated around for many years that delineates the differences between advertising, promotion, publicity, public relations and marketing.

  • If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying, “Circus is coming to Fairgrounds Sunday,” that’s Advertising.
  • If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk him through town, that’s a Promotion.
  • If the elephant walks through the Mayor’s flower bed, that’s Publicity.
  • If you can get the Mayor to laugh about it, that’s Public Relations.
  • And, if you planned the whole thing, that’s Marketing!

In brief, “Marketing” represents the big picture.