Promotion, Publicity, and Public Relations

A complete advertising program must include promotion, publicity, and public relations. Often, no clear distinctions can be drawn among them. In general, promotion is the range of activities whose purpose is to establish good will or further the growth of a firm. For example:

• sending greeting cards, complimentary plants, or other gifts to important customers at holiday time

• sending clipped newspaper announcements of engagements to brides

• sponsoring free lawn clinics, floral design shows, pruning clinics, or similar events just before major sales periods

Publicity and public relations activities are intended to bring the business and its staff to the attention of the public (and potential cus­tomers) in order to generate favorable public opinion. For example:

• writing articles about plants, flowers, or landscaping for the local newspaper

• holding an open house before major holidays or planting seasons

• providing shirts for the local Little League

• joining and speaking before civic groups on horticultural topics

The return on the dollars spent in these areas is not easily measur­able, and so the budget should not lump them together with advertis­ing. To do so would complicate and distort the interpretation of the effectiveness of the advertising program.