Meaning of “publicity” in the English Dictionary

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"publicity" in British English

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publicitynoun [ U ]

uk /pʌbˈlɪs.ə.ti/ us /pʌbˈlɪs.ə.t̬i/

B2 the activity of making certain that someone or something attracts a lot of interest or attention from many people, or the attention received as a result of this activity:

He attracted a lot of adverse/bad publicity with his speech about unmarried mothers.
Her first novel was published last year in a blaze of (= with a lot of) publicity.
We have planned an exciting publicity campaign with our advertisers.
The publicity generated by the court case has given a welcome boost to our sales.
The normally publicity-shy director will be making several public appearances for the launch of the movie.
The enormous publicity surrounding the case will make it very difficult to hold a fair trial.
The pop group's arrival by hot-air balloon was just a publicity stunt (= an unusual way of attracting the public's attention).

More examples

  • Their marketing strategy for the product involves obtaining as much free publicity as possible.
  • The whole episode was a blatant attempt to gain publicity.
  • They received a lot of adverse publicity about the changes.
  • Lucia is going to do the publicity for the school play.
  • a publicity gimmick

(Definition of “publicity” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"publicity" in American English

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publicitynoun [ U ]

us /pəˈblɪs·ɪ·t̬i/

the activity of making certain that someone or something attracts a lot of interest or attention from many people, or the attention received as a result of this activity:

The publicity surrounding the case made jury selection difficult.
His speech attracted a lot of publicity.

(Definition of “publicity” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"publicity" in Business English

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publicitynoun [ U ]

uk /pʌbˈlɪsəti/ us MARKETING

the attention that a person, product, or organization receives from newspapers, television, etc. when something happens that people are interested in:

get/receive/seek publicity The book didn't get much publicity when it was published.
attract/avoid/generate publicity The new board chairman avoids publicity and contact with outsiders.
The publicity surrounding big city bonuses has helped to fuel the public's anger.
adverse/negative/unfavourable publicity The high-street chain's sales were hurt by all the negative publicity.
bad/good publicity
advance/free publicity

the business of making sure the public knows about a product, event, organization, etc.:

The party hired a top PR firm to create publicity for their election ideas.
a publicity budget/campaign/drive The bank has launched a $15 million publicity campaign to reposition itself in a difficult market.
a publicity agent/department/manager
publicity material/photos

(Definition of “publicity” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)