PR Advice

There’s a Reason Why Some People Like Chocolate, and Others Like Vanilla

There are many reasons why some people are in sales, while others are in PR. I’ve been on both sides of the fence, so I understand where both sides are coming from, and I find my side more rewarding for the things I enjoy accomplishing.

In PR, it’s about getting someone to do something in a gentle, persuasive way (which is a form of sales, never doubt that). In sales (which also needs a bit of PR), it’s a lot more forceful. If you don’t directly ask for what you want, someone else will, and you’ll lose the sale every time.

The challenge I personally always face with someone in sales when I’m working on a PR plan and the person’s not schooled in PR, is to try to convince the sales person why patience is a virtue…I had a boss once who thought PR was a bunch of hokie. She almost despised that she had to have me on board. I was hired by her boss, and when he moved on, she inherited me. The owner of this business understood what I did for the image of the company. She, on the other hand, had come from a sales background, and because she couldn’t measure the effect that I was having on sales, just wanted me to go away. Her boss wouldn’t let her can me, so she was stuck with me. She was pleasant enough, but I knew when we crossed paths in the halls, seeing me for her was like fingernails coming down the blackboard.

When the day came for me to move on, she was ready to throw a great going away party. Then, I was gone… The void set in, and the things I had been doing began to languish. In the languishing, she came to see all that I had done, and realized the importance of PR.

In almost a gushing way, she called me to ask my opinion about someone she was thinking of hiring to replace my void, thinking I was going to be delighted. I wasn’t though… We had too much history. It was she that was the chalk board, and I now had the eraser.

PR and sales are a hand-in-hand phenomenon for the good of any company. It’s the good cop/bad cop theory. Public relations builds the image of a person, place, or thing. It’s the, “You get a lot more with honey, than you do with vinegar.”

So, if you’re one of those people who doesn’t understand the significance of PR, perhaps this offers something for you to think about.

PR for me isn’t spinning a tale of glory that doesn’t already exist, and it’s not just about “doing lunch.”

PR’s a gentle process of crafting and telling a story to someone who can benefit from hearing it, in oder to accelerate an end win-win result.

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