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Vapor Publicity Explained

        posted by , May 22, 2013

What is it?

Vapor publicity is publicity for something you might do ... but haven't done.

It usually takes the form of a press release that talks about your future plans before you've made any significant investment in those plans.

Vapor publicity allows an organization to judge media reaction to a strategy before investing in it. In some cases, the organization doesn't have any serious plans to follow through on the actions described in the press release.

Definition: Vapor Publicity

Vapor publicity is publicity for a strategy or plan that occurs before any significant steps have taken to make those plans real.


  • A small bank announces its long term international expansion plans to generate publicity.

  • A software company announces plans to challenge a competitor's products days before that competitor has a big media event. The vapor press release distracts the media from the competitor's event.

  • A food brand announces its long term sustainability plans to generate publicity. The company hasn't made any investment in sustainability.

  • A technology company announces that its products will have amazing capabilities ... someday.

Next: Win-win Publicity

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