Okay. Full Stop. Public Relations IS a part of marketing, not its arch enemy.  And you have to think about PR very differently than they way you approach marketing. By this I mean that the goal of most marketing tactics is to take your strategic differentiation and make it smaller, more bite-sized, more digestible by your prospects. With PR, the goal is just the opposite. We want to take your differentiation and make it larger, more accessible, more relevant to a larger audience.

This concept is probably best explained through an example.

Let’s say you are in the business of helping people select the right software for their business.  You and your team are really great at analyzing business needs, understanding the product offerings out there and you are fabulous negotiators – getting the best deal for your clients whenever you are involved.  You’ve really differentiated yourself on being able to level the playing field for your clients when they negotiate with big software companies.

So in your marketing tactics, you call on this “negotiation” differentiator and break it down to smaller pieces.  Maybe you do webinars on things to consider when evaluating software vendors. Or you do white papers and blog posts on the best ways to figure out what your real needs are when it comes to software.  And in your email marketing, you focus on how your clients save 2x what they pay you for working for them.

This is taking your differentiation and breaking it down to smaller bites so that it appeals to specific audiences with specific pain points.

Now with Public Relations you want to build a strategy for thought leadership.  We want to take your expertise and make it applicable to a larger audience. Through our conversations, we uncover that not only is your organization great at negotiating, but that you have a philosophy of negotiating in a non-scorched earth approach – meaning that when you are done, all the parties in the negotiation are still talking to each other and feel like each got a fair deal.

Now you can use your philosophical approach to position your firm overall as a thought leader in win-win negotiations.  You can target media, reporters, bloggers, etc. that are already writing about negotiation tactics. You make contact with them, develop relationships, and let them help tell your story. Sure, some of them will be in the software or technology industry, where you work with clients, but the beauty of PR is that it can tell your negotiation story in other spaces as well- new industries and areas where negotiating expertise is just as valuable, but the examples are different.

As you get media coverage for your negotiating prowess and approach, your company reputation builds overall, and therefore, your reputation in your own niche also builds.  PR, in the end, makes you a bigger fish in a bigger lake (and sometimes the largest fish in your own small pond).

Its not easy, it is not quick but when your reputation expands, it has lasting value that you just can’t buy any other way.