LinkedIn: Why PR is your best marketing tool and how to do it, 2013-Jul-22 by Vivek Wadhwa
We gave PR precedence over marketing and decided we would talk about whatever the media was interested in. My employees and I might make mistakes, be misquoted, and perhaps give out too much information, but I was willing to take the chance. We would have a policy of being accessible to and totally open with the media, customers, and investors. We would let our guard down and be ourselves.
Our products were really boring. We produced legacy systems modernization software. So we had to find a different way of getting attention. We decided that Relativity's best buzz generator would be our staff of Russian programmers, who had formerly performed top-secret coding for the Russian military and intelligence. We began selling ourselves as an exciting company with a James Bond edge.
The strategy worked. Even though we were located in what was then a technology backwater—Durham, NC—we were getting as much attention as the hot dot-com startups during the Internet bubble. In just the first five years, we were featured on all the major TV networks and in more than 1000 articles in major business publications worldwide. Fortune Magazine lauded us as one of the 25 "coolest" companies in the world. The Wall Street Journal featured us in more than a dozen articles—including two on its front page.
Most of these articles weren’t about our products but about our opinions. That was okay, because, as we saw, the credibility that you build as an opinion leader spills over into everything else that you do.