October 16, 2012
/ by Chris Pilbeam
The Flottman Company’s Vocus-powered publicity run started with a HARO publicity alert and ended in the Cincinnati Enquirer – via CNBC and The New York Times.
Scanning his HARO publicity alerts, Ed McMasters, Director of Marketing & Communications at the Cincinnati-based digital communications company, saw a query from The New York Times requesting successful family businesses to feature in a story. Ed quickly fired off the following:
Pitch Subject: Family Business – 3rd Generation in Kentucky and Ohio
In 2012 the Flottman Company will be celebrating its 90th year in the printing industry. The longevity of this company is amazing. Even over the past few years of a tough economic environment, the Flottman’s have been able to succeed, profit and grow…
The Flottman Company’s New York Times publicity hit
“The reporter contacted me the same day,” Ed says, “and I set her up an interview with our CEO, Tom Flottman. After a series of interviews and a couple months of correspondence, we were featured on the front page of the Thursday Business section of The New York Times. The night before the print article, the story went live on the reporter’s blog and on the NYT homepage. Our website visits and social media activity went off the charts.”
Some marketers might have stopped there and celebrated their success. Not Ed, who began using the tools in his Vocus Marketing Suite to leverage his publicity hit as much as possible.
“I call it ‘promoting the promotion’,” Ed says. “You’ve got to tell people about it, and you’ve got to be the first to tell people about it.
“We immediately posted the link to the article on our Facebook page, and tweeted it as a bit.ly link through our Vocus dashboard. Our web traffic from the social shares grew and grew – the link to the NYT article is still our second most popular post. We put out an online news release promoting our coverage. Combined with the article, all of this action attracted the attention of CNBC in Atlanta, who invited Tom to appear as a guest on CNBC’s Small Business Town Hall, where he came face to face with some of America’s most successful entrepreneurs.”
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Ed kept going, publicizing Tom’s CNBC appearance with a second news release which got the story into local media, including the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Flottman Company began to enjoy a second wave of publicity buzz, especially within Tom’s professional networks.
The Flottman Company ‘promotes the promotion’ with a PRWeb news release
“A local media hit is very powerful,” Tom Flottman reflects. “It builds credibility and expert status. Whenever something hits the local papers, I get phone calls, emails. Nationally, a lot of people saw our New York Times article, but fewer of our own contacts had seen it, so we let them know we were there.
“It really got people’s attention. When I tell people I was in the Cincinnati Enquirer, people say that’s great. But when I say I was in The New York Times, they want to know how it happened. The status that comes with The New York Times and CNBC makes folks look twice. It makes them want to know more.”
“With permission from The New York Times,” says Ed, “we reprinted the article in our company newsletter, and created a wall plaque that greets visitors to our conference room and that hangs adjacent to our award wall. When referring to Tom Flottman, we include the tagline: ‘as quoted in The New York Times’. It adds instant credibility.”
“We’re on a higher plane of media interaction now: we have had contact from the Wall Street Journal, The Family Business Magazine and numerous Industry Publications” Ed says. “We’ve built a relationship with The New York Times, who has tagged us as one of their go-to small/family business experts. CNBC has also reconnected with us to discuss future engagements. Without Vocus and HARO, we would never have been able to do it. And thanks to our ability to ‘promote the promotion’ with Vocus, we’ll be riding this wave of success for years to come.”
Postscript: Ed has just arrived back from Chicago’s Graph Expo, a print industry conference at which, thanks to his New York Times article, he was invited to speak. His subject: the benefits of free media relations tools like HARO.
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