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MADE Entrepreneur Of The Month: April 2012 – Vau've Anais Davis


Vau’ve is the CEO/Founder of OfficialAnais Public Relations in Chicago. Most importantly, she is a long time friend and business associate of mine. Since the start of our friendship in college, we have been exploring unique ventures and initiatives – such as the Soul Starr Select catering organization. We constantly express our nostalgia as we have grown as entrepreneurs specializing in public relations and branding. Likewise, we frequently acknowledge that we may not have acquired the successes that we have experienced without one another. So, it is my pleasure to honor Vau’ve as the first “MADE Entrepreneur of the Month” for April 2012!

You will constantly read and hear motivational words and thoughts from me, followed by the hash tag #MakeYourself. This is because I strongly believe that, although we are interdependent beings, no one knows what’s best for you than yourself. You set your own goal and understand that it will take your efforts, at a minimum, to achieve them and become who you want to be – to make yourself. No one understands this better than Vau’ve. Despite her educational background in Psychology and not Communications, she has stepped up to bat as a superb Public Relations Consultant, rivaling the workings of major PR firms. She had an inspirational vision for herself that she sought and grasped by establishing her own PR brand, OfficialAnais PR. While representing several clients, Vau’ve still manages to nurture her philanthropic roots with events like the OfficialAnais Toy Drive. Moreover, she has been an indispensible referral source for my company, B-EZ Graphix.

It is important to understand that you need to be yourself, because everyone else is taken. Although Ms. Davis’ experience embodies this precept, she still sees the value that each person has that can contribute to the efforts of others. In fact, she is endeared as “The Connector” of people and resources. Her work with my company is a prime example: Vau’ve has referred over 15 projects to B-EZ Graphix that produced nearly 25 products accounting for over $1,000 in revenue from referrals within one fiscal quarter. This amounts to over 40% of referral revenue, from Vau’ve alone, out of 15 affiliates of B-EZ Graphix. If that’s not impressive enough, through Vau’ve’s networking with Luxury Chic Media in New York, she connected me to TJ Jefferson of Fresh Touch Publicity in Atlanta – leading to the launch of a Joint Venture Partnership between our two companies. Thank you Vau’ve for all you do for B-EZ Graphix!  I am so very glad to have you as a friend in life and business!

I would like to highlight YOU for the next “MADE Entrepreneur of the Month!” Contact me to become an affiliate of B-EZ Graphix and send us your referrals for graphic design, web design, branding and marketing consulting. The incentives for affiliates are endless! Thank you for reading, and thank you in advance for your support.

NYC Day 1: Illi Boy at Ilili


Two shuttles after landing at Laguardia, I arrived at my grungy hotel, the Latham on 28th Street. I unloaded and immediate began to explore the city on foot. With my virtual assistant, Gaila Curry of the Expert Offices, in ear on my Bluetooth, I soon realized that it had been over 8 hours since I last ate. Gaila then directed me to the Ilili a few blocks south of where I had wandered.

Upon entering, the mirrored foyer and walls dressed in golden drapery evoked images of a Mediterranean palace. But as a designer, I was still fascinated by the logo that greeted me as I approached the restaurant. It was simple, elegant and told the whole story about what was in store for me inside. I had the option of sitting at a traditionally set table, but I could resist the allure of dining in the leather lounge area beside the stone slab table tops. Typically, this is a setting for groups, especially because of its proximity to the bar. Nevertheless, I was determined to indulge in the experience for myself. And indulge I did. I opened with a traditional hummus appetizer, as my waitress advised me of the differences between the two main courses that I was torn between: The Lamb Chops and the Citrus Trout. She admonished that the trout was for those who were looking for something different, and suggested the Lamb due to its simplicity. My travel tradition is to do something different each time I visit someplace different. So, I ordered the Citrus Trout alongside a Lebanese white wine.

After grazing over the pita pillows and hummus, I was introduced to a frightening presentation of the trout. Not unlike the rubbish on the street when I first laid eyes on the city of New York on trash day. Also, the dish was so flat that I was afraid my appetite would turn me inside out at the dissatisfaction of finishing the meal too soon. . . This was all an illusion. As I dove into the inside of the fish, I saw that it was not only meaty, but meaty on both sides and dressed with greens in between. With the orange citrus cells, the fish was mild, yet sweet and tangy. Accompanied with the grapefruit citrus cells, the dish had the audacity to bite back. The citrus tahini underneath provided me with a smooth transition between the two contrasting experiences. A nibble of the crispy almonds also provided a much needed reprise. In aggregate, I couldn’t have asked for a better precursor to what awaits me in New York. My first meal was symbolic of the culture I would soon be immersed within. Thanks to the Expert Offices for the outstanding recommendation, and thanks to Ilili for such an enchanting prelude to my adventures in the Big Apple.

Follow Through…Enough Said


“I’m a man of my word…”

It is upsetting that I have to even remark on a concept that should be a standard across all professions. But, there have been an overwhelming number of instances in which I have experienced, or have heard about experiences with individuals or companies that fail to follow-up. Of all times to set such a dreadful impression, why do so in the midst of an unstable economy? Why would a realtor not follow-up with a potential home buyer/renter that calls almost daily to inquire about a property? Why would a business professional not follow-up with a good lead that they encountered at a networking event or through referral? Simply put, they have lost the vision for success. Human nature dictates that we are interdependent beings. Don’t let the obsolete American Dream delude you, there is no such thing as bootstrapping your way to the top on your own. Don’t be blinded by the fact that many who came before you made the provisions for you to have an opportunity to get where you are because they had already envisioned where you’re going to be. . . or where you should be. You WILL NOT get there if you do not follow through on the opportunities laid before you. Don’t probe me as a designer, or any other professional, and lead us to believe that you are ready to invest in yourself and take your success to the next level, but never call back or return an email in a timely manner. The least you could do is send an email saying that you will follow-up or make a deposit/payment at a later date. Let yourself be fooled that you won’t be forgotten after a week being unresponsive. I want to help each and every one of you in every capacity that I can, but I refuse to reach a hand out to someone who isn’t reaching back. Allow me to see you tearing the stones away as you try to pull yourself out of the rut of monotony. Then, you will see me emerge as vividly as the rainbow that rose above Noah’s Ark in the midst of the monochrome storm that enveloped him. But, if you don’t follow through and build your own vessel to meet me on the waters, you will get nothing . . . and you will get nowhere.

Be easy

Brian


The Rhythym of Success, The Disharmony of Failure


Starting a new business is exciting. The thrill of new opportunities, the enthusiasm of making connections and networking can be very captivating. Enjoy it! However, you must remember to resist the temptation to be impulsive. Running a business is like making music. As erroneous as this advice might seem, especially coming from a man who has no musical talent whatsoever, it is the most illustrative anecdote to what I wish to share with you all. A close examination of your day-to-day operations will reveal that there are trends in the tempo of your marketing techniques and procedures which are correlated with the acquisition of new clients and the recurrence of loyal clients. For example, after posting a new advertising promotion, you may acquire a few new clients. The more you do this, the more clients and projects you will acquire, the less you do so, the less new clients and project you acquire. Thus, you can effectively manipulate the rhythm of your business.

It is imperative that you are aware of your company rhythm and pay enough attention to monitor these trends as closely as possible. Submerging into the buzz of business operations could result in “oversaturation” to the point that you become overwhelmed. At this rate, you may find yourself in a position in which your business is controlling you rather than the contrary. For instance, an event planner that is new to the industry may find themselves completely “psyched” when they acquire a new venue to host events and parties. So, they start planning and promoting immediately to host a “simple” party in two weeks with a $10 cover charge in a venue that holds only 300 heads. Most venues require a 50% deposit, and with excitement of having savings for startup, the planner immediately invests and pays the $500 non-refundable deposit. Essentially, they are now locked in and committed to the event, but there are some major problems here: 1) a DJ will cost anywhere between $200-$3000, 2) having a designer design, print and ship flyers can range from $150-$1000, and 3) with a 500 person capacity you can only make $3000 at the event unless you profit from the bar. The capacity to profit is marginal at best in this situation, but your tasks and obligations are high and can result in a great deal of stress and anxiety – key ingredients for a breakdown and failure.

Needless to say, this is an undesireable experience for most business owners. Don’t let your business influence you in this manner. We all have goals and places to be in the end. But, life is not about the destination – it’s about the journey and the moments in between. Control you ops tempo so that you can slow down and make the best of these moments and enjoy life. No matter how reputable you become, don’t be such a megalomaniac that you can’t stay in touch with your own humanity that reaches out to the “you” within the business owner. Enjoy what you do. Plan ahead. And take your time to find the right rhythm for success. #MakeYourself

Be Easy,

Brian

Time is Money?


I frequently mention to my new clients that my Modus Operandi is that I value business relationships over revenue. For this reason, I have no issue investing time for little to no money. Perhaps, only my mature audiences can understand why I do this, while my other critics rest on the idea that “Time is Money” – but really it’s not. In business, many associate the time they invest to be worth x amount of dollars and should be taken seriously, insisting that they are not in the industry of wasting time and subsequently money. Consider this: if the misfortunes of the world ever fell upon you such that you had not one cent to your estate, then time is all you have. Unlike money, you can’t make that back.

Years ago, I lived in the depths of society in the basement of an apartment on the south side of Chicago. I witnessed all sorts of misfortunes there, from young girls raped and beaten and a close friend of mine that was killed right before my eyes. One lesson that I’ve learned and can never forget is that you can’t take back time once it’s gone. You can’t make that little girl forget the time her innocence was lost, and you can’t give my friend time to make better decisions that would have kept him alive. There’s no amount of money you can spend, or any job you can work to earn back time.

So, why waste time worrying about money and what your time is worth when there are much larger things at hand? Don’t get me wrong, I know what my work and my time is worth. Hourly rates for graphic/web designers start at $25 per hour and project rates usually don’t fall under $500 at a minimum. So, why do I undercut myself? Why am I so humble? Don’t be mistaken, for a long time, I was in the business of making money myself. Now, I’m in the industry of making moments. Like the moment a small business owner who is just starting out sees their new logo for the first time and is so overwhelmed with elation, that they post it on every social network at their finger tips. And, like the moment when that new business identity affords them another avenue to generate the money they needed to pay back two months of late rent because there are no jobs on the market. . . the moment that their child doesn’t have to live with no home and in the chills of the wind because mommy has her own business now.

I don’t dream to have a large corporation, or a wealthy enterprise. I only wish to build relationships with lasting moments. In the end, I could die with a great deal of money in my estate. But, how much would last and what amount would be taken with me thereafter? None. But, the relationships that I build and the moments I create will become legacy. Every bit I will leave behind will not be circulated in treasuries eventually to become as invisible as credit. Rather, what remains of me will be circulated in the hearts in minds of people who didn’t envision another moment of good fortune until they met me. From this, I will not charge you with a request to make moments and not money. Instead, I leave you with a thought: if your time is money and money never lasts, then what are you truly worth?

-Be easy

5 Tips to Jump Start Your Brand


Hello, again! I will be posting my 5 Tips to Jump Start Your Brand. Follow these useful tips to get started with an effective brand marketing orientation to gain exposure.

TIP 1 – Get A Logo! Your logo is the face of your business. It’s the statement about your business that you want to give. Hire a graphic designer to design your logo because professional branding work yields better results. Make sure your logo excites you with pride because it sets the tone for the rest of your branding products. The style, colors and graphic elements will resonate in the rest of your brand products. Next, be sure to TRADEMARK YOUR LOGO! You should understand the value of protecting your business identity the same way you would with your own personal identity.

TIP 2 – Determine Your Niche to narrow the focus of your business branding campaigns. For example, a instead of marketing yourself as a “photographer,” brand yourself as a “wedding photographer.” A niche gives your brand orientation toward a target market – DON’T be a “Jack-of-all-trades; Master of none.” Master a niche to build a reputation -your brand. In other words, what you’re known to be proficient at providing for your target market.

TIP 3 – Establish Your Network! Build relationships with PROFESSIONALS both in and outside your profession. Making contacts in other professions will open up new markets for you to spread your brand far and wide.

Many frown at this, but offer pro bono and promotional services/products or barter with other professionals. Helping others in need of your services/products will generate hype about your business and promote your brand. Don’t offer free services/products too often and lose the ability to make a living because you’re known for rolling over at every sentimental appeal.

TIP 4 – Know Your Worth! Research what other professionals in your industry make for their services/products. Compete by not overpricing your products/services but don’t be the bottom rung of the ladder either. Be flexible! Provide multiple payment options for customers with various budgets (installments, deposits, etc.)

TIP 5 – INVEST IN YOURSELF! You should be enthusiastic about spending the money to design establish your brand. You can’t expect the cost to be cheap for designing a logo, business cards, websites & other marketing materials. Prepare to spend at least about $1000 – it’s a large investment, but worth it if you take time and FOLLOW THROUGH. Invest in accountants, business consultants and especially lawyers to help maintain and protect your brand. If you’re not willing to spend the money to build your brand, how can you expect your clients/customers to do so? Lastly, know your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t attempt things not within your skill set. Invest in tools to assist you.

I hope you enjoyed my 5 Tips! Put them to work as you build your brand, fulfill your dreams and Make Yourself!

The Allure of Dark Web Designs


Colors are everywhere around us, it affects our moods whether we are consciously or unconsciously aware of it. Colors are also one of the most important elements in design. Designers will need to select the correct color and their matching palettes for their design in order to produce their desired effect. One of the popular colors that many designers seem to favor is black; black gives of a mysterious, serious and classy aura to the design. However, while being one of the popular colors that goes with most colors, black is not suitable for all types of design. This is because, if used wrongly, black could portray a gloomy, heavy and depressing effect.

On the other hand, for those who prefer a minimal and clean design for their websites, black or dark colors are definitely one of their top choices. Dark websites are becoming increasingly popular these days, seeing that many people prefers to have a simple yet classic design; in fact dark websites are highly popular for personal online portfolios and photography websites. Dark websites tend to look attractive, portraying a mysterious aura to attract attention and yet it also exudes elegance and class while giving the design a little bit more edge for it to stand out from other web designs.

Here I would like to draw on your attention, while dark websites are seemingly attractive they are also quite picky on how they work; this means that dark websites are suitable for all. One has to be extra cautious when implementing design with dark websites; everything from the fonts, arrangement and matching color will have to be considered carefully. Brighter colors generally work quite well with dark backgrounds or colors, dimmer colors against dark background will tend to get diluted or swallowed up by the darker colors. White space is also one of the things to look out for when using dark websites, arrangement should be made so that viewers can view your web comfortably. One of the reasons why designers tend to use minimal or simple design fordark websites is also because too much design will create clutter to the web, making it difficult and uncomfortable to view.

However, just because they are dark websites, does not necessarily mean that black is the primary color, creative designers have manage to adopt darker color, gradients and a mixture of other colors to help them boost their designs for dark websites. While it is not easy to adopt a dark theme, but for those who are bold enough to try and got it right you can be sure that they tend to make attractive websites.

James Garner

A little illumination effect creates a mysterious aura for the web.
James Garner

Just Dot

A dark background that resembles a blackboard.
Just Dot

The Kennedy’s

A dark background and simple illustration gives off personality for this web design.
The Kennedy's

Ascension Latorre

Black themed design always works best with minimal design.
Ascension Latorre

Azure Stoneworks

Black themed design also work perfectly well for photo showcase websites.
Azure Stoneworks

Quentin Mackay

Black helps the viewers to direct their main focus to a certain subject.
Quentin Mackay

Change Given

A soft illumination of the subject gives of a different kind of atmosphere to the web.
Change Given

Moksha Studio

With suitable matching colours the web could give of a balance feel.
Moksha Studio

Colmar Brunton

Take extra note of one’s font if your web design relies heavily on it.
Colmar Brunton

61 Pixels

A dark textured background also gives an edge to the web’s design.
61 Pixels

Esteban Munoz

When a little illustration gives of a fun atmosphere to the design.
Esteban Munoz

Bond Makeover

A textured rich brown background also works well on a site.
Bond Makeover

Hello Cihan

A black and red theme is also another way to work things out.
Hello Cihan

Marco Pizzuchemi

A classic example of a dark and minimal web design.
Marco Pizzuchemi

Kenda Perez

Another minimal dark themed web portfolio of a model.
Kenda Perez

Weave Silk

A dark background and a splash of colours also does the trick.
Weave Silk

Vertu

A dark theme to bring out the sophistication of the website.
Vertu

Jon White Studio

A dark blue base background is also another method to create a dark web design.
Jon White Studio

Dulla

Who would have though graphics and a dark background could create this piece of art.
Dulla

Fluxar Studios

A clever use of colours and dark background.
Fluxar Studios

One Page Wonders

A play of green and black.
One Page Wonders

DPS

A classic layout for a portfolio showcase.
DPS

Guilty Brotherhood

What better way to showcase a classic collection with a black themed web design.
Guilty Brotherhood

Josh Sender

Utilizing a black and white photo for the web’s background.
Josh Sender

Hell-Cat Records

A dark web design brings out the rough edges of this web, giving it a rugged design.
Hell-Cat Records

 

 

From DesignSpectre

40 Inspirational Logo Designs


Welcome to another addition of inspiring logo collections! Today I have prepared for you some recent 2011 logo designs for your viewing pleasure, thanks to inspirationfeed.com. All of the following works very hand selected based on quality and creativity – separated the best from the rest!

343523176ef1fc49b7f185fcccda998d1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

7c7b850aed58122577e1172642ffe2691 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

dcd697d76e7378862e07c1772dc0b7ef1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

851e9844edfc6f2cc9fce2c655352e8c1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

8ca092f680e44d25a056ea49a00764d71 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

a891aec1887e518d96195abcc418ed3f1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

b93e5fc2e4184cf053b4c186a762f0751 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

9ab63310ebc5288485d0e09221da8b011 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

343a8f216f74ec163ef81ba261c293831 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

c15de470e51b7dabdd4eb4f78de214e21 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

766d0c457607fab28ea54af17ec4d5d31 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

2e3aede68c9e2f403cbed7838196f2d41 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

b4b0f88937502f6db21a2bd58205f1391 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

3658c09063ed04feede567a3e5954ef51 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

bbec37c165834522450dea6c5bc7b1bf1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

898c74eb99453898d062378d8859fe4b1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8e8f4887940f1fc18d0240714aecc84ac1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8
9346a526de6b7431c1d659ade7d74ea21 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

958ee2896dec3fdbe795ca3df8f19b451 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

3bbfee2c379348ff0a201888a263e43b1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

53d57bdb6376d25b0640e8ef936cb4e41 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

600d385494364b643f65e14cfa7949e71 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

813a2b97a924978ab9039a511d4e37ea1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

226e232d23db87b70cb3c471436127bd1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8
e3155b98254224c689cb006b85477fec1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

86650ae54ab20e0667c9a4d24c0bea611 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

bdfec067f8ad2e32258aedb8962f28ce1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

42e36ab3893555594651772f275699be1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

5c41ea239a64b7d9322ba867b2d275591 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

319cdaec12e70043a0c33b8cbb8b9c831 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

3d69be4ed0f4a9c1b2212b52b3681bc41 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

9073ba9e3b7a6584e96e7545693ab3f71 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

8aa680c74369e98086becdf32fdd605d1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

rp 011 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

ovsani prototype dribbble1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

ouch1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

sewpd1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

juiced2 copy1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

ecolion1 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

screen shot 2011 06 08 at   07.24.411 40 Incredible Logo Designs #8

Did you enjoy this collection? Comment below and let us know!

I was particularly incapacitated by amusement of the Morning Wood Logo! 🙂

Please don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and follow B-EZ Graphix on TwitterFacebook (100% Spam Free!) If you enjoyed the following article I humbly ask you to help me spread the word by sharing this article with your peers!

Make Yourself


My name is Brian Wyatt, owner and operator of B-EZ Graphix, originally from Chicago, currently living in Warner Robins, Georgia. I am a graphic and web designer and marketing specialist. I have been in the design industry for over 8 years. I specialize in business branding by designing and producing marketing communications products such as logos, business cards, flyers, websites, album/mixtape and magazine covers along with designing static and animated ads. My educational background in social science has also allowed me to excel with my skills in marketing and promotions since the start of my design career in 2004. I combine my creativity in design with my background in strategic marketing and promotions with exceptional versatility to enable my clients, local and abroad, to take their business to new heights with an effective plan and execution of the design tools I provide. I develop brands that don’t just build companies, they build legacies.

Imagine a nameless, faceless individual approaching you with his/her hands out expecting you to pay them your hard earned money for their services/products. How would you take that? More importantly, what look would you give them that conveys the reality that you are in no way interested? This is the same way networks of people and markets will look at a company with no logo, no brand…perhaps, even an unimpressive brand. My company provides exciting designs and exceptional consultations to build start up companies and market networks and corporations – creating legacies. I provide this services at affordable and flexible rates to ensure new entrepreneurs and non-profits get the jump start they deserve without wasting what little they have to invest in themselves. I do this because I value business relationships over revenue. The world needs to know this. There are so many people out there that have dreams for themselves, their family and friends that involve being their own boss and bootstrapping their way to achieving their goals but don’t know where to start building. I want to provide the freedom for these innovators to do so not out of some sense of self justice, but because I know when I provide opportunities for them to advance toward their goals, they will pay it forward and create opportunities for others who are “stuck.” In the end, no one deserves to be “stuck” and waste the potential they have to make themselves. My company, B-EZ Graphix is the key to that freedom – the freedom to be who you want to be, build a legacy. . . the freedom to make yourself.

Marketing vs. Public Relations: Clarification for the Confused


Marketing vs. public relations: Clarification for the confused

Dialogue 282x300 Marketing vs. public relations: Clarification for the confused

I see, time and time again, in professional articles and blog posts and hear in every day conversations the misuse of the terms marketing and public relations, and it annoys me.

But I admit I am not entirely innocent either. It’s really easy to mix up these two terms because they are complementary fields that share so many similarities. They are both public facing, require many of the same skill sets and share some methods of media and public engagement. However, it is important to understand that their goals and processes for reaching these goals are distinct.

Boiled down to its bare bones, the answer is quite simple. The goal of marketing is to determine the customers that a company should sell to and to devise a strategy on how to reach them. PR involves creating a purpose-driven, active dialogue with a target audience, whether it’s potential customers, employees or stakeholders, with the goal of developing visibility and a positive corporate image and reputation by relating it to its interest groups.  Consider marketing a “push” method of communication that involves designing and developing products and methods to sell a business services or products.  In contrast, PR is “pull” method of communication that creates a favorable public image (or brand) of a company that will attracted and secure clientele.

In defining PR and marketing, we must consider the fact that they are constantly evolving with the changing media landscape and increasing demands of consumers. And these consumers are becoming more powerful and vocal as social technology advances and dilutes the persuasive authority of businesses. These shifts make it challenging to pinpoint definitions for each field. Here are some attempts from reputable institutions:

Marketing defined

“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

– American Marketing Association

“The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”

– Chartered Institute of Marketing

  • The act or process of selling or purchasing in a market
  • The process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service
  • An aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer

– Merriam-Webster dictionary

So, simply put, marketing is the business function that manages the relationships between an organization and its markets, between its products and services and its customers to satisfy all requirements profitably.

Public Relations defined

“Using the news or business press to carry positive stories about your company or your products; cultivating a good relationship with local press representatives”

– Entrepreneur Encyclopedia

“Public relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics”

– CIRP

“Public relations are often a crucial part of a company’s success – or failure. In addition to handling media requests, information queries and shareholder concerns, PR personnel are frequently responsible for crafting and maintaining a corporation’s image”

– Investopedia

Again, in its simplest form, PR seeks to foster a mutual understanding between an organization and its publics by bridging consistent communication lines with media and publics to make an organizations “good works” well known to as many publics as possible.

Similarities

As mentioned previously, public relations and marketing are complementary. When a mutual understanding between a business and its publics is fostered through PR, a marketer’s job is made easier. The same is true for public relations professionals when the market fit for a product or service is clearly understood by the marketing team. A lot of professionals, ourselves included, regard PR as a subset of marketing. You can agree or disagree with this viewpoint (We welcome your comments in the box just a little south of here).

Skill sets

PR and marketing professionals both require similar skill sets to perform their jobs successfully. Writing skills are essential to both fields. We have written extensively on the subject of writing, including why spelling and grammar count, the importance of being able to write a clear and persuasive mission statement, the delightful, frustrating and fulfilling struggle that is the art of writing and guidance on how to improve your writing all to double-underscore and highlight its importance to both PR and marketing professionals. In addition, both fields require excellent interpersonal and communications skills as they require you to engage with all manner of publics including customers, stakeholders, clients, journalists, editors, bloggers, brand enthusiasts and pessimists. Both professionals must also be excellent researchers and be able to identify credible and relevant information and apply it to projects. For these reasons, as well as the increasing demand for social media expertise, both professionals must also be technologically savvy. Teamwork, persistence and creativity also rank high among necessary skills required for each field.

Methods

Both professionals also carry similar tool kits to achieve their goals. For example, marketing and PR professionals both develop and carry out strategies for media relations with the primary goal being coverage that is cumulative and long term. New media, press releases and newswire services, media kits, email and the good old fashioned telephone are all employed to get their messages across to the media. Both also manage the reputation of their clients by monitoring the media and Internet for positive and negative mentions and often draft responses on behalf of clients to potentially damaging remarks as a means of reputation management. Of course, these just scrape the surface of the many strategies and tactics in the PR and marketing professionals’ toolkit. Feel free to add additional similarities to the comments section below as you think of them.

Differences

In our view, what sets marketing apart from PR is that it’s about more than just outreach; it also embraces a number of higher functions that determine the very direction of an organization. While they both focus on reaching target audiences for their corporate clients, marketers are responsible for identifying these groups and their specific needs that the company’s products can address. They are also responsible for distinguishing their products from competitors and for advising on the development of new products. They decide the markets that will optimize the company’s profits and provide council on product pricing based on a perceived value. Like PR, marketing requires communications skills, but it also demands more strategic and analytical skills.

So, what’s your take?

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