How PR is Like Sales

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by Edward M. Yang

There’s the old saying that the only function that matters in a company is marketing.

After all, without a market or customers, there are no sales and ergo no company.

Another truism that is just as appropriate in public relations should be that all PR is simply sales.

Think about this for a moment. In sales, you are approaching prospects with the ultimate intent of selling products or services.

In sales, you need to create a prospect list. The quality of the list can play a big part in your success in terms of how close they match your offerings.

In sales you approach the prospects, pitch them and try to close them.

In sales, especially these days and in higher end goods, building relationships is crucial.

Similarly, in PR you are approaching prospects (editors or reporters) with the ultimate intent of selling them your story idea.

In PR, you also need to create a targeted list of media. Simply blasting your release to the world or worse yet, spamming media that aren’t in the area of interest is at best a waste of money and at worst a good way to get yourself blacklisted by said media.

In PR you approach the media, usually initially through email but ultimately through persistent phone calls. It will take multiple emails and even more phone calls to get an editor or reporter live, but do not rely on emails (unreliable) or voice messages (usually not listened to). Again, you must get someone live on the phone to do your pitch.

In PR, the pitch is all-important. What is your story idea? Why would their readers care? Why is it relevant? What facts do you have to back it up? How unique is it? Is there a tie-in to any major story in the news currently?

In PR, you need to close the deal meaning get a commitment from the media that they will run a story, a quote, an article, whatever.

And of course in PR, building long-term relationships with the media is so critical. You want to position yourself not just as a self promoter, but more importantly a source of valuable information when they are on deadline. If you help them, I guarantee you it can only pay dividends in the future.

So re-examine your public relations efforts with a critical sales eye. It can reap massive benefits in the form or more media coverage for you…

Need PR advice and counsel? Contact Firecracker PR at

Have a great week,

Edward Yang | Firecracker
“Where Marketing and PR Ignite!”
o: (888) 317-4687 ext 1
c: (949) 500-6422
[email protected]

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