I recently shared 6 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My B2B Public Relations Career. But I wanted to take a closer look at my (sometimes painful) discoveries about media relations. Why? Simply put, nothing interests a client or galvanizes an account team more than plain old results.

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Is your B2B public relations strategy global, local or someplace in between? An investment banking client once told me, “If a company doesn’t have a ‘China strategy’ then it has a going out of business strategy.” While I don’t think the same thing necessarily applies to all companies’ PR strategy, the logic got me thinking. The world is getting smaller and a company’s customer base, regardless of industry, most likely can be global. Which means, no matter the size of the company, their PR strategy should have global appeal.

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20 years ago, I (like most entry level pros) learned the 5 Ps of Marketing: Product, Price, Place, Promotion and People. These, I was told, were the five marketing levers that satisfy customers and build market share.

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Is there a difference between a thought leader and an issue owner?

I think so. Here’s my hypothesis: a thought leader makes a meaningful contribution in the discussion, analysis and furthering of an idea or topic in the world of public discourse. A thought leader is someone whose experience has led to knowledge, and knowledge to wisdom – and who has the confidence required to go out on a limb and state a case. Given our many years of work in B2B public relations, in most large firms only 5 or 10 percent of the professional staff has ability to become a thought leader – and yet these people are the firm’s make-or-break assets.

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Modern professional services marketing did not really begin until 1977. Up to that time, “marketing” was what the male-dominated professions did on the golf course. But when an Arizona court decision allowed lawyers to advertise in 1977, it ushered a new era, which also coincided with the rapid growth of female professionals.

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My family has spent a collective 100 years in B2B public relations. While my grandfather and father represent about 80 of those years, I’ve been around the industry about 20 years.

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