PR vs MARKETING

G uys, I need to explain an important difference. PR ain’t the same thing as Marketing. You might as well compare crutches and a car. Yeah, they both help you get around, but that’s about all they have in common.

Marketing is about customer acquisition. PR is about creating “buzz.” Usually, the thought process goes something like this: what can we do to get an article written about us? An article will create buzz, which gets investors’ attention, which leads to financing, which means we’ll have a business. Wrong.

You want to know what gets investors’ attention: loyal customers. Figure out how to get more of those. And yes, Fred Wilson is right, that starts by having an awesome product: “not one of [USV’s] top performing companies had a marketing budget in their initial business plan.” Well, notice what I’m not saying. I’m not saying you have to spend a dime on marketing. In my mind, Marketing and PR are philosophies, not expense items. Ask yourself how each action will lead to more customers. If the answer is a couple of steps removed, stop and rethink your approach.

So how does that play out:

Press Coverage: “unless you’re a startup like Quora and your customers are fellow startups, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to pursue articles in TechCrunch or Mashable” according to Angus Davis (Swipely). Couldn’t agree more. Find out where your potential customers are; what they read, watch, and listen to. Find a way into those publications. That’s marketing.

Just my 2 pennies.

Schuyler