Publicity is the movement of information with the effect of increasing public awareness of a subject. The subjects of publicity include people (for example, politicians and performing artists), goods and services, organizations of all kinds, and works of art or entertainment.
- Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author
A - F
- The effect of power and publicity on all men is the aggravation of self, a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim's sympathies.
- All publicity isn't good publicity. As a New York publicist put it: "What: the guy's an asshole so I'll go and buy his novel?"
- Martin Amis, Experience, Part I: Thinking with the Blood (2000).
- There's no bad publicity except an obituary.
- Brendan Behan, as quoted in The World of Brendan Behan (1966) by Sean McCann, p. 56.
- The price of justice is eternal publicity.
- Arnold Bennett, Things That Have Interested Me, 2nd series (1923), "Secret Trials".
- Publicity is usually explained and justified as a competitive medium which ultimately benefits the public (the consumer) and the most efficient manufacturers - and thus the national economy. It is closely related to certain ideas about freedom: freedom of choice for the purchaser: freedom of enterprise for the manufacturer. The great hoardings and the publicity neons of the cities of capitalism are the immediate visible sign of "The Free World." For many in Eastern Europe such images in the West sum up what they in the East lack. Publicity, it is thought, offers a free choice.
- John Berger, Ways of Seeing BBC and Penguin Books (1972), p. 130
- Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.
- Louis Brandeis, “What Publicity Can Do,” Other People’s Money, chapter 5, p. 92 (1932). First published in Harper’s Weekly, December 20, 1913.
- The government being the people’s business, it necessarily follows that its operations should be at all times open to the public view. Publicity is therefore as essential to honest administration as freedom of speech is to representative government. “Equal rights to all and special privileges to none” is the maxim which should control in all departments of government.
- William Jennings Bryan, speech before the City Club, Baltimore, Maryland (April 24, 1915); reported in "Bryan's Ten Rules for the New Voter", rule 8, The Sun, Baltimore, Maryland (April 25, 1915), p. 16. Bryan prepared the ten rules as a synopsis of his speech so the newspapers might get the exact sense of it.
- Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.
- John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, Letter (23 January 1861), published in Lord Acton and his Circle (1906) by Abbot Gasquet, Letter 24.
- If you truly believe that there is no such thing as bad publicity, then I will be happy to disillusion you.
- Without publicity there can be no public spirit, and without public spirit every nation must decay.
- Benjamin Disraeli, Speech in the House of Commons (8 August 1871).
G - L
- The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity I need. My name in print. That really makes somebody. Things are going to start happening to me now!
- The day has clearly gone forever of societies small enough for their members to have personal acquaintance with one another, and to find their station through the appraisal of those who have first hand knowledge of them. Publicity is an evil substitute and the art of publicity is a black art; but it has come to stay, every year adds to its potency and to the finality of its judgments. The hand that rules the press, the radio, the screen and the far-spread magazine, rules the country whether we like it or not, we must learn to accept it.
- Learned Hand, "Proceedings in Memory of Justice Brandeis" (1942).
M - R
- They used to have clauses and contracts where you can't get bad publicity or you'd get fired. But now bad publicity is good publicity. I just keep working and don't think about it much.
- Liza Minnelli, St. Petersburg Times by Shannon Breen (October 6, 2007).
- Personal publicity of every kind is utterly distasteful to me, and I have made greater efforts to escape it than most people make to get it.
- Albert Jay Nock, Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, Preface (1943).
S - Z
- Try never to speak of your enemies by name. Any publicity is still publicity — and there are those for whom your disapproval constitutes a recommendation.
- L. Neil Smith, "Some New Tactical Reflections", The Libertarian Enterprise, No. 35 (January 15, 1998).
- As a United States Senator, I am not proud of the way in which the Senate has been made a publicity platform for irresponsible sensationalism. I am not proud of the reckless abandon in which unproved charges have been hurled from this side of the aisle. I am not proud of the obviously staged, undignified countercharges that have been attempted in retaliation from the other side of the aisle. I don't like the way the Senate has been made a rendezvous for vilification, for selfish political gain at the sacrifice of individual reputations and national unity.
- A man once said that the pinnacle of success
Was when you've finally lost interest
In money, compliments, and publicity
A noble enough idea I suppose
How on Earth he does this heaven only knows
I know I need a lot more of all three of those
Before I'll ever have the nerve to turn up my nose
At any money, or compliments, or publicity.
- Todd Snider, The Excitement Plan, Money, Compliments, Publicity (2009).
- They wanted to know how I succeeded in getting so much publicity, I said by having a small audience, I said if you have a big audience you have no publicity, this did seem to worry them and naturally it would worry them they wanted the publicity and the big audience, and really to have the biggest publicity you have to have a small one, yes all right the biggest publicity comes from the realest poetry and the realest poetry has a small audience not a big one, but it is really exciting and therefore it has the biggest publicity, all right that is it.
- Gertrude Stein, Everybody’s Autobiography, Ch. 4 (1937).
- I think politicians and movie actors and movie executives are similar in more ways than they’re different. There is an egocentric quality about both; there is a very sensitive awareness of the public attitude, because you live or die on public favor or disfavor. There is the desire for publicity and for acclaim, because, again, that’s part of your life…. And in a strange and bizarre way, when movie actors come to Washington, they’re absolutely fascinated by the politicians. And when the politicians go to Hollywood, they’re absolutely fascinated by the movie stars. It’s a kind of reciprocity of affection by people who both recognize in a sense they’re in the same racket.
- Jack Valenti, interview on National Public Radio, December 13, 1974. This excerpt was printed in The Washingtonian, March 1975, p. 162.
- There's no such thing as bad publicity.
- Author unknown. Attributed to P.T. Barnum in Plays and Players (1957), Volumes 5-6, stating "That great showman, Barnum, once said that there was no such thing as bad publicity". But see Constance Hope, Publicity is Broccoli (1941), p. 17: "The press agent is the fellow who believes that there is no such thing as bad publicity". See also Charles Clay Doyle, Wolfgang Mieder, Fred R. Shapiro, eds., The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs (2012), p. 253, citing Clifton Fadiman, "The Reviewing Business", Harper's Magazine (1941), Vol. 183, p. 479.