It's time - you want to raise your profile, shout from the rooftops about what your business is doing and let the world know how great you are.

But what's the difference between marketing and PR? How will a blog drive traffic to my website? Where does advertising fit into it? It's expensive isn't it? And why won't the media print the stories I send them??

While understanding the world of media isn't rocket science, if you can, it's always a good idea to consult with some experts and there are lots of fantastic companies right here on your doorstep who would be delighted to hear from any business keen to up their profile. If you are a Chamber member, take a look in the directory to find local firms in the network who are ready to help you right now.

You could also look to hone your own skills by keeping an eye on our Skills for Business training courses which regularly include sessions on topics like Social Media for the Uninitiated.

But, to help you get started, we've produced a series of handy little guides (see below) which give you some hacks, tips and guidance on the basics of press release writing, blog generation and investment in advertising.

And remember, as a Chamber member you can send your news and blogs to for us to share with the network and help spread the word about your new business wins, additions to your team, new products and services, CSR activity and opinion pieces on topical issues affecting businesses across the region right now.

So get writing!

None of the guides however will help answer my earlier question: What's the difference between marketing and PR? I'll leave you by explaining it in the best way I've heard it described and that starts, like all good stories, with:

A man walks into a bar.

He's on a blind date and he really wants to impress and be memorable. When his date arrives, he spends the first 10 minutes telling her how amazing he is. All the things he's done, the accomplishments he's made, the places he's been, the awards he's won, how everyone loves him - he's advertising.

He spends the next 10 minutes asking her questions, showing how they complement each other and how far they could go together. He tells her what she wants to hear in a way she wants to hear it - he's marketing.

It seems to be going pretty well but then, the clincher. A friend of the date's approaches the table and says to her: "You're having a drink with this guy? He's great, you two would be fantastic together." Boom! Public relations in action.

Guide to writing press releases

Practical help to get you writing news copy like a pro

Top tips for blog writing

What you need to know to get them reading and keep 'em to the end

Guide to advertising

What to think about before committing any spend

Top tips for video creation

Where to start on creating knock-out videos for your business

Top tips for social media success

Where to start on building your company profile