We don't have anything against advertising. Some of our best friends are in advertising. But the dirty little secret of marketing is that public relations, in most cases, is a more effective and affordable strategy than advertising.

The effectiveness is a result of the implied editorial endorsement of the media. As a consumer, you know that you all too often let advertising slip past your consciousness. But a news story or feature is of a higher intrinsic value, and that is how we introduce our clients to their audiences.

As for affordability, all you have to do is look at published ad rates to judge relative value. The nine-page feature on the Subaru Primal Quest in Outside Magazine that we instigated would have cost six times more than our entire retainer for that year, had the event bought the equivalent ad space.

The tactics by which we garner this attention vary by client. We use video news releases, traditional press releases, calendar releases, bylined articles, personal phone calls, hot tips and the odd begging and pleading.

In general, all of our press communications are informed by certain fundamental rules: we only bring legitimate news items to the media, thus enhancing our own and our clients’ credibility. We try to write well in order to present a cogent and compelling story to our media contacts. And we infuse every press communication – verbal or written – with an honest, humorous and informed tone.