Friday, June 26, 2009

Advertising vs. Public Relations

This question has been bandied around for as many years as there has been commerce. Public Relations (PR) and advertising are cousins. They serve the same master (Aunt Profit) but with different approaches.

Once men started creating surpluses that they could trade for needed goods that they didn’t have the earliest tradesmen “advertised” to their neighbors what they were going to have available at the next market. Once they established trusting relationships they was more reliance on public relations to drive the commerce machine. People will always do business with those they know and trust.

Jumping ahead, I have always found that advertising is great for getting instant results. It is where you put your coupons to attract new shoppers (and some savvy ones) to introduce to your products. The accounting is built into the campaign, because it is easy to quantify the results, and is very reliable. Advertising gives you "instant" results.

PR on the other hand is more of a long term investment. It can entail "free" advertising if you use press releases judiciously. It has a lot to do with who you know and who knows you. The newer arena of social networking is a terrific platform for PR efforts. A PR campaign is where you foster friendships and relationships. These connections may not become clients or customers for quite a while, but they are likely to be very faithful when they do.

It appears to me that customers come from an advertising base and clients come from a PR base. Both aspects are important for the success of your business; each has its strengths and weaknesses. Your business development strategies should include a mix of both methods depending on your predetermined goals. Relationships have a significant impact on your bottom line.

For more in depth information contact me: or at least leave a comment here. I'll be looking forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Are You Buried?

I just turned on my computer and a monster jumped out at me. One look at my mailbox made me want to go and hide until next year. I have several mailboxes that I use like filing cabinets, each one receiving mail related to different projects. A couple of them are not too overwhelming, but then, they are also places to play so they require no immediate attention. My main box, the catchall of all things curious, significant, important for me, or important to other people has 1251 messages with 602 of them marked unread. There is probably a fair amount that has become dated or obsolete that can be deleted, but that still means I have to sort thru them. A lot of it I have every intention of reviewing, when I get time or whenever the cows come home, whichever comes first.

A lot of this chaos I have brought on myself. If I see something that I think is interesting I subscribe, figuring that I can throw it out later. Unfortunately, later seems to be buried at the bottom of the pile. Then there are the things I mark for follow-up; do you recognize those initials, that’s what happens to those red flags.

I also need a big shovel to get myself sorted out in Twitter. Again I have solicited all these neat comments, but I have given virtually no consideration to when I think I can follow up on all those cool tweets. My mind is like a sponge that needs new information to sop up on a continuing basis. Unfortunately it can’t operate on remote control—I have to take action to keep it well fed and happy.

The same situation applies to all of my social networking sites, like Linkedin and Ladies Who Launch When do I think I am going to catch up with all the information that is available to me.

I really believe in the power of these new relationships. Maybe I can figure out a way to have a big party, invite all these connections, make new friends and see if someone has a brilliant or at least better idea of how to handle all this social media chaos. Please comment if you can relate or have a solution before I get so buried that I will never see the light of day again.