When I explain how publicity works and why someone needs to hire a publicist, I have to break it down into several steps. Most clients cannot afford advertising because it's expensive. If you run an ad in the newspaper or online or try to do a TV commercial it could break your budget for marketing. Hiring a publicist does marketing by storytelling that gets you the editorial in a magazine or newspaper or blog or website. This is the most effective impact you can make for branding your business.
If your publicist gets you a segment on the local news or a TV show that can have a great impact. People are impressionable so when they see you speaking as an expert on the topic on a TV segment - they listen and watch. The news station is endorsing you as an expert in telling the story about something that happened. When a magazine or newspaper or website or blog features you in a story these publications are endorsing you and people listen more for several reasons. People listen more because psychologically their brains can differentiate between an ad and a real story. A real story looks and feels very important, and you should pay attention. When you see a commercial online or on TV you immediately start to shut down or shut it off. And the reason your brain wants to push aside the ad or commercial is because your brain knows you're being sold something. And you may be being sold something you're not even interested in or has no impact on your life. But when you read or hear a story your brain lights up and your ears are listening taking in the story. The reason why your senses are lighting up and taking in the story is because it's coming to you in an editorial form. This is why publicity is a higher-echelon service for people who understand what public relations does for them and their businesses.