There is a lot of confusion about the definition of PR. In fact, many marketing professionals don't understand the difference between public relations and marketing because PR tactics are so often used for marketing purposes.
The difference is in the objectives. The objective of all marketing activities, of course, is to sell a product or service. PR's main goal is to create understanding, but when used as a marketing strategy it has the added goal of selling a product or service. This is primarily how you will be using it.
Public relations, in a nutshell, is the management of communication (information flow) between an organization and the people and groups important to its survival and success. It is one of the most effective marketing strategies because of the credibility it provides. It can be extremely successful as a stand alone marketing strategy or it can vastly increase the effectiveness of a multi-faceted marketing program by adding credibility to all of the other components.
For a professional in private practice, PR is a method for gaining visibility in the community where you practice, establishing your expertise, enhancing your professional image and catalyzing word of mouth referrals based on name recognition and superior perceived value.
This website will assume that as an expert in your profession you will use PR as your sole or primary tool for gaining visibility for yourself and your practice.
There are at least 11 major components of the public relations profession. You will be focusing on one of those: marketing PR. To simplify even further, I recommend you concentrate on a particular strategy called expert positioning. As the name implies, the objective is to create a perception of you in the public's mind as an expert, as the preferred local expert in your profession.
Combined with a few relationship marketing activities, this will initiate and then begin to snowball word of mouth referrals that will elevate and spread your reputation and demand for your services.