Publicity Vs Advertising

Taken from my book ‘How To Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into A Reality’ – Chapter 10

Many people in business don’t know the difference between advertising and publicity. The two have the same ultimate goal, which is to increase sales. But they are very different.

Advertising is when you pay for space or time to promote your product or service. You can do this in newspapers and magazines, on television, radio, and billboards, on the side of a bus, in a cinema, on the side of a building — the possibilities are just about endless (and people are coming up with new ways to advertise all the time). You create your own advertising message, and you pay to have the ad created. You then pay for the advertising space. Even a basic advertising campaign can cost thousands of dollars, and larger corporations spend millions of dollars on this each year.

Publicity, on the other hand, is when you send out a media release, stage an event or do anything that attracts the attention of the media. The aim is to have the media attract attention to your business for you. The biggest difference compared to advertising? Cost! Generating publicity can be done for next to nothing.

As an example, let’s compare receiving the same amount of space in a newspaper through advertising and publicity. A reasonably large ad in a major daily newspaper could cost you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. Or you can receive the same amount of space in the form of an article about you or your business for the cost of sending a fax. You don’t have to pay for space, or to have an ad designed. Just write a press release, surf the net to find out who to send it to, and that’s it. Think about that in terms of percentage return on dollars invested. It doesn’t get much better for attracting attention and generating sales.

And what about if you happened to get on television? You could end up as one of those feel-good stories at the end of the news, or maybe you will be featured on Today Tonight because of the revolutionary new product you have invented. How much would that air time have cost you in the form of advertising? More than most small businesses can afford.

Publicity can give you massive exposure for just a few dollars, it generates sales, and it creates awareness about your product or service. Publicity is the cheapest form of marketing that exists, and it produces the biggest gains. Used properly, publicity can make you rich.

For more info on getting publicity for your business visit

HEY, did you know i’m running a contest while I am away…


Firstly, here is what is up for grabs…

  • A signed copy of my book, which these excerpts come from – ‘How To Turn Your Million Dollar Idea Into A Reality’ [valued at AU$29.95]
  • Unleashing The Power Of Publicity Audio CD – Interview with Pete Williams & Dale Beaumont [valued at AU$27.95]
  • Business Essentials Audio CD – Interview with Pete Williams (May 07) [valued at AU$27.95]
  • Why We Want You To Be Rich Book – Robert Kiyosaki & Donal Trump [valued at AU$29.95]
  • and… A Hand Crafted Pen Crafted From The Authentic Timber of the Melbourne Cricket Ground[valued at AU$189.95]
  • Total Value: AU$ 305.75

There are two prize packs to be won.

To Enter:

1. Post a ‘review’ of one of these book excert posts, on your blog, with a link back to the relevant post on my blog. Does that make sense ? I’ll see the link or the trackback.

2. Include an email address in your post unless your whois information is correct.

3. Promise to give a review of the entire book on your blog once you have received it and read it.

4. I’ll randonly draw the 2 winners when I get back after April 18 2008.

It’s that easy!


Pete Williams is an entrepreneur, author, and marketer from Melbourne, Australia.

Before being honored “Australia’s Richard Branson” in media publications all over the continent, Pete was just 21 years old when he sold Australia’s version of Yankee Stadium, The Melbourne Cricket Ground For Under $500! Don’t believe it? You will! Check out the story in the FAQ section (it really is our most asked question).

Since then, he’s done some cool stuff like write the international smash hit ‘How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality’ (+ the upcoming ‘It’s Not About the Product‘) and he’s created a bunch of companies including Infiniti Telecommunications, On Hold Advertising, Simply Headsets and Preneur Group.

Lots of other people think he’s pretty good too! He’s been announced as the Global Runner-Up in the JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2009, the Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a member of SmartCompany’s Top 30 Under 30.

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