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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
 

The Tribe Discovers...Public Relations

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Last week, the Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) tribe went over a great idea for building a Customer Nurture Program. This week? The tribe shifts gears to discuss the importance of a company’s public relations strategy. Remember, fire = print.

The FEI monthly management meeting began. Marka scribbled two words on her handy whiteboard. “We’re going to lead with Public Relations,” she started. “This effort begins today.”

“I don’t get it,” Zoot said. “What will a public relations effort accomplish that our current marketing activities can’t?”

“Olympus has become an increasingly cynical society,” Marka replied. “Olympians are bombarded with hundreds of promotions every day, and traditional advertising has lost much of its effect. People don't believe advertising, plain and simple. However, they still believe what they read as long as it has been sanctioned by the media.”

“That makes sense,” Zoot said. “An item about FEI that appears in a press release, publication, news outlet or even a blog conveys an authority that one of our marketing promotions simply can’t match. And there’s so much happening at FEI right now. We shouldn’t have any problem thinking of something to send out to the press. Right, Org?”

“Our first contact with the media should be announcing our new Matches,” Org declared. “And let’s make it a policy to release news about FEI when it occurs, at least once a week.”

“Every day something of significance happens at FEI,” Numo added. “Besides our matches, FEI has many other newsworthy events: product announcements, key new hires, new customer agreements, industry award, etc. Our marketplace needs to know about these events whenever they happen.”

“Is there really more going on at FEI than at other companies?” Org asked, lifting a mug of grogaccino. “Something tells me if you were leading the PR charge at Pyro or FlintStone, you’d have no problem coming up with material for them.”

“Any company can establish a strategic public relations presence,” Marka agreed. “However, it takes effort, dedication and a plan. Frankly, most of our competitors either can’t execute or don’t have the time or resources. Businesses that put the leg work into maintaining an industry and media profile will notice increased ‘top-of-mind’ with important fire industry influencers and, consequently, increased business.”

Org was pleased. Marka was telling him exactly what he wanted to hear. “Companies in the news equals free publicity,” he said. “It makes sense. All right, get a press release out by the end of this week, and start contacting bloggers as well as trade and local media contacts!”

Marka laughed. “Hold on. Press releases are really just the tip of the public relations volcano. Org, it’s time to make you a star.”

“Me?” Org gulped.

Today’s FIRE! Point
We live in an increasingly cynical society. People don't believe advertising. However, they still believe what they read as long as it has been sanctioned by the media. This makes public relations an invaluable resource for spreading awareness about your company. Your company should be in the press whenever you add equipment or capabilities, make a significant hire, win an industry award or create a new business unit. Businesses that maintain a respected industry and media profile will notice increased “top-of-mind” with important industry influencers and, consequently, increased business.
 
FIRE! in Action
MobilSphere Generates Good PR with Personalized Blogger Outreach

This mobile messaging and telephony solutions provider targeted business, technology and lifestyle bloggers with a customized pitch explaining why its new ‘slydial’ product was a good topic for his/her blog. As a result, 381 bloggers wrote about ‘slydial’—more importantly, the product’s user base grew from 5,000 to 200,000 users.

Next week: A discussion on the importance of ghostwritten trade articles for a company’s public relations presence.

Industry Centers:

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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
TJ Tedesco - Posted on December 03, 2010
Craig - Fabulous comment. I bet the # is closer to 13x in most instances. Thanks.
Craig Kevghas - Posted on November 16, 2010
Of course the PR guy is going to say PR is always the way to go, but that's why the trends all in the favor of PR expenditures. It's 3 to 13 times more believable according to recent studies and it costs a lot less. Advertising is me talking about me. PR is objective outlets talking about me.
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Archived Comments:
TJ Tedesco - Posted on December 03, 2010
Craig - Fabulous comment. I bet the # is closer to 13x in most instances. Thanks.
Craig Kevghas - Posted on November 16, 2010
Of course the PR guy is going to say PR is always the way to go, but that's why the trends all in the favor of PR expenditures. It's 3 to 13 times more believable according to recent studies and it costs a lot less. Advertising is me talking about me. PR is objective outlets talking about me.