Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why Some Companies Get All the Buzz

Have you ever wondered why the same companies seem to attract all of the media coverage?

No matter where you turn - newspapers, trade magazines, even lifestyle publications -it seems that some businesses are just natural media darlings.
Do they know some secret that the rest of us don't?

According to Kris Bondi, founder of California-based Communications Network Worldwide, the answer is probably not all that mysterious. "Companies that get all the buzz usually have a good marriage of solid or innovative product or service with good promotional ideas," she explains.

Silicon Valley-based interactive software developer Marimba is a prime example of a company that has been getting all the buzz in the software industry since its 1996 inception. Not only does Marimba have cutting-edge products and a very visible CEO in Kim Polese, but Bondi says they captured the media's attention, then maintained it, by creating relationships.

"The best way to get the industry's attention is with a 'first, biggest or best' of a new product or service. If you are the second company to offer something, you are already at a disadvantage, but if you can show why yours is different than the rest, you are on your way to getting buzz.

Marimba's success is due, in part, to being consistently evaluated by independent organizations such as PC Magazine as having a superior product," she explains.
It is a myth, Bondi says, that companies like these have to spend a lot of money on marketing to become buzz magnets: "Too many companies think they need to do ongoing promotions. They are wasting money.

Promotions are important, but there needs to be something behind it." She cites Nabisco, maker of Oreo cookies, as an example of one of the best and least-expensive promotions she has seen.

During a 1997 news assembly at the National Restaurant Association conference, the cunning cookie company generated an economical buzz by listing the event in daily conference announcements, in addition to distributing a "media alert" that they were holding the press briefing.

The information given out was not ground breaking at all, she explains, but Nabisco had an ace up its sleeve: They fed the news conference attendees milk and Oreos. As a result, the company had a packed house of hungry reporters and PR people listening to their announcement.

"This wasn't an expensive promotion, but it was effective. It fit the company culture and accomplished Nabisco's goal of getting reporters to their news conference," Bondi explains.

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