My small, woman-owned public relations/marketing firm, Advice Unlimited, has been serving the Federal government marketplace for nearly 30 years to help companies with innovative technology get their solutions to the government. Every month, I’ll offer unlimited advice on how to work with this unique market. Please email me with questions or comments.

Advice Unlimited

Advice Unlimited

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Is your organization searching for new approaches and solutions? Need to refocus and re-energize? Our Brainfry™ can help – this unique strategy session helps you refocus your energies on where you want to go and what you want to accomplish – it’s a great activity for end of year funds, to help you plan and prepare for the beginning of a new fiscal year. To encourage you to take this important step…

Advice Unlimited is pleased to offer its Brainfry™ at a special 20% summer discount, for all orders received before August 31, 2009.

To accomplish one's goals, an organization must understand where it is trying to get to and think through how best to get there. Advice Unlimited, a small, woman-owned business, can help – through our Brainfry for top executives. This is a focused, intense version of our strategic planning effort, for those organizations with minimal budgets and time. We provide this unique approach to deliver some of the key subjective and qualitative efforts from the more comprehensive approach, for those organizations who want strategic messaging and goals but can't commit time or resources to a more comprehensive effort. For a Brainfry, we conduct a SWOT Analysis (a process created by the Harvard Business School that defines an organization's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) with top executives of the organization. We integrate key elements of that intensive discussion with our expertise and market knowledge to create a positioning paper that provides recommended goals, key messages, an elevator pitch and boilerplate. This activity is especially popular with organizations looking to deliver a new service or test a new direction, where time is of the essence and budgets are tight. The cost for a Brainfry is $10,000.00, and includes preparation and facilitation for one 4-hour session at the client’s site, and the delivery of the positioning paper 2-3 weeks following the Brainfry session. It is recommended that participants be limited to a maximum of 9 people per session.

Until the end of August, 2009…Advice Unlimited is pleased to offer this intensive class for only $8,000 for our government customers. To take advantage of this 20% discount, please call 301-924-0330 or email; the order must be confirmed before August 31st, 2009 to receive this discount. Classes may take place anytime within the next 6 months. Advice Unlimited accepts government credit cards.

Prepare NOW so working on the next set of objectives and goals is a positive experience rather than a crisis – we’re looking forward to working with you!

For more information on the services we provide and the organizations we support, please visit

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Reaching Government Decisionmakers

The government marketplace has always been regarded as one with high barrier to entry - the perception was that you need to make a significant commitment of resources and manpower, there are a myriad of rules and regulations to comply with, and that its an extremely complex market to break into, requiring a long time before reaping a significant return on investment. Most of these perceptions are accurate - but the payoff is significant. And if you truly have a technology that meets current needs, the government wants to find you. So how do you break through?

First and foremost, the government marketplace is spending serious money on information technology, and Federal IT spending will remain on the fast track through the end of the decade, according to a new forecast from Input, a major market research firm that covers the government space. Government spending for IT is expected to rise at an annual rate of 3.5 percent, from $76.2 billion this year to $90.3 billion by fiscal 2014, bringing $14.1 billion new dollars to the market over the next five years.

In particular, Federal agencies are expected to spend $60 billion in stimulus funding on IT security measures.

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks changed the way federal agencies approach IT security. The amount of federal money spent on IT security had been increasing modestly before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but it increased dramatically after that — 100 percent in fiscal 2002 and 50 percent in 2003. Civilian agencies spent about $1.6 billion on IT security in fiscal 2005. And now, with the appointment of a Cyber Czar that reports directly to the President, announced this past May, and a significantly increased commitment and focus on cybersecurity, that number is sure to continue to grow.

However, along with this increased spending is a heightened sense of fiscal responsibility. Throughout the government — military and civilian alike — executives are under pressure to do more with less. There are transforming initiatives at work across all agencies, and a real push for transparency and accountability that expects technology to be a key element for success.

Within this environment, the government marketplace can be lucrative if you understand its unique requirements, deliver real value-add, and market yourself appropriately. The key to help you scale the barrier to entry is focused, strategic public relations – the best bang for the buck in any marketing arsenal – and networking-focused, relationship-building marketing.