Old school tools aren’t ready for the museum

Paul Nolan

The advent of social media marketing has corporate America tweeting, making YouTube videos and monitoring discussions online. Does anyone have time anymore to write up a press release?

You remember press releases — a page or two of information highlighting a product’s finer points strategically sent to key media members who might publicize your product for free as part of their editorial content.

Note to marketers: don’t abandon the tried and true. iPods are great, but a good boom box still gets a hellacious party started.

Publicity has always been viewed as a fringe function in the marketing mix, says Steven Stroum, President of Venmark International (venmarkinternational.com), an old-school public relations firm based in Wellesley, Mass. Ironically, he says, the aspect of publicity that causes the uninitiated to disrespect it — the fact that it’s free — is actually its strongest point.

“When your products receive exposure in the non-paid segments of a media outlet, the message is sanctified by the publisher, whether in print or online, and is more believable. Great companies and marketers understand this,” Stroum says.

The added value in preparing news releases about whitepapers, products, new contracts, website updates and many other topics should not be overlooked. Indeed, the entire concept of online content marketing relies upon the timeless tactic of having something worthwhile to say.

“News is an equalizer. Your company can be perceived as large and as important as Apple or IBM if you have something to present to editors that is newsworthy and you do it properly,” Stroum says.
“You get directly to your prospective customers online and properly distributed content that appears in quality media outlets will likely get you high first-page rankings in most of the major search engines.”

Stroum pushed an article on his client Esco Tool into a trade magazine published in Chile that resulted in a $35,000 initial order and effectively opened up the international market for the industrial tool manufacturer.