AflacPublicity is a tool of public relations (PR).

Whereby PR is a long-term strategy that helps forge relationships with your public – publicity is what speaks to the public and convinces them that you know what you are talking about and that you are an expert.

Publicity is the action of getting press coverage which establishes you as an expert or your company as the premiere company that handled this, that and the other.  The reason why it works so well is because people still believe what they read in newspapers.

They still listen to what the news anchors say and what radio stations will broadcast.  People believe third party endorsements – but sometimes when companies incite a publicity stunt without the help of a strong PR team, it can go horribly wrong.

Insurance company, Aflac, learned this message the hard way after receiving instantaneous backlash when they decided to let a live duck loose on the NYC subway.

“Ducks don’t belong on the subway, especially waddling through stations, and especially not when they’re used as part of a publicity stunt that makes it harder for our customers to get around,” an MTA official told Gothamist. PETA also wasn’t too happy about Aflac’s stunt. (1)

What Aflac forgot was that in business management, there are certain natural laws that you have to abide by or organizations won’t expand; they will contract.  Those same principles we apply in media relations management and publicity.

By following statistical analysis of what works 100% of the time, we can section off the things that aren’t working and then take your campaign and your message and use that with that 100% codified process to get you results. This is the key to building a solid foundation as your company expands so that you can take on more and more business.  And as you go up the scale in publicity placements, more and more media and journalists at top-tier outlets will start to have their minds changed as who you are and why you would even be creditable to be in their outlets.  So you have to build a solid foundation of publicity placements from tiers, from the bottom all the way to top, so you can remain at the top.

So, what does publicity & PR mean to you?  It should mean bottom-line success.  Some of the things that you can expect are higher return on investment for your marketing dollars, lowered cost per lead, an augmented value for your business because you have a good will, and as we know, good will is starting to be factored in evaluations for companies that are being sold.  It will also increase your credibility, your familiarity and it will make sales easier to close and that all affects your bottom-line success.

(Maybe next time, Aflac should release their bird not in the New York City subway, but at Subway, where ducks eat for free.) (2)


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  1. “Duck In NYC Subway Station Was An Aflac Marketing Stunt”; Huffington Post Web 09/24/2013 9:25 am EDT;
  2. “Ducks Eat for Free at Subway”; 2008 Mitch Hedberg;