The Tribe Discovers…Ghostwritten Trade Articles

Last week, the Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) tribe introduced the idea of a public relations strategy for businesses in the fire (and other) industries. This week, the tribe delves further into PR strategy with a discussion of the importance of ghostwritten trade articles to boost a company’s industry profile. Remember, fire = print.

Despite Marka’s enthusiasm, Org wasn’t sure he wanted to be a star. “We’ve discussed this, Marka. I shouldn’t be the media’s focal point. FEI is about quality fire products and services, not me.”

“Like it or not, you are the face of the company,” Marka said. “The public needs to hear our battle cry, and you have the best voice.”

“Voice for what, exactly?” Org asked.

“Remember that Flintstone sales rep Johnny Flamethrower?” Marka asked. “He recently left Flintstone and started a ‘trade’ magazine called Fire Trade.”

“Let me guess,” Org said. “Johnny Flamethrower wants me to write for Fire Trade.”

“How perceptive!” Marka replied gleefully. “Now that you’re the face of the FEI brand, Org, your appearance in local or trade media will imbue FEI itself with an added authority.”

“There’s one problem,” Org said. “In case you’ve forgotten, I’m trying to manage a profitable fire business. I don’t have time to sit down and pen a 1,000 word article. Also, I’m not even a good writer!”

“I can write it,” Marka volunteered. “But my name won’t be anywhere near the piece. It’ll be like a ghost wrote it for you!”

“In other words, a ghostwriter,” Org suggested.

“Yep,” Marka said.

“No offense to ‘Fire Trade,’ but I doubt all of our customers and prospects read it regularly,” Zoot noted. “How can a trade article display our brand to the same magnitude as, say, a press release?”

Marka had anticipated this objection. “The best use of these trade articles won’t even be seeing them published. We’ll make copies of every article and give them to our customers and prospects—during sales calls, at trade shows and, best of all, enclosed within marketing materials.”

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T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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