Choices for marketing winners and losers - by Stanley Hurwitz

March 05, 2021 - Front Section
 Stanley Hurwitz
Public Relations

WD-40 was invented in 1953 for the space program. Perhaps it’s an easy product to market because, ever since, it has proven itself for hundreds of unexpected or unusual uses. Reader’s Digest published an article, “46 Amazing uses for WD-40” such as sliding a ring off your finger; insect repellent and killer; removing gum from hair; and boot waterproofing. Kudos to WD-40’s PR people for their creative nonstop promotion. 

Speaking of ubiquitous things: Coffee filters. Makers regularly plant stories in cooking, DIY and general media explaining why you need a large supply even if you don’t drink coffee! Among little-known uses: Clean eyeglasses, windows, TV and computer screens; shine shoes; nail varnish remover pad; plant pot liner; snack bowl; and extra protection with pandemic facemask.

Eversource Electric deserves credit for a friendly letter to customers advising us to watch out for tree pruning crews, and explaining their “commitment to the responsible management of trees and vegetation near power lines…. Trees are the leading cause of power outages.” I like that they adhere to pruning methods of the International Society of Arboriculture. Kudos to their PR department.

A special nod to South Dakota governor Kristi Noem who, during the pandemic, starred in ads promoting “a great tourism destination.” While showing exciting Mt. Rushmore and other scenery, Noem said, “Come here when travel is OK again.” 

There was a unique “Odd Couple” pandemic-era ad cosponsored by Amtrak and Lysol! The heading was “We’re ready when you are.” Amtrak pledges “a new standard of travel with enhanced safety and disinfection measures with Lysol products.” Measures include contact-free travel and enhanced disinfections at key touch points.

I like franchise pest control company Mosquito Mary’s colorful oversized 6” x 10.5” mailer headline “Should you decide not to call us, save this card for SWATTING.” 

A shout-out to Safelite Glass. For the first time ever, a pebble made a tiny crack on my windshield. My insurance agent said cold outside temperature and warm inside air could expand the crack. Online I choose the day, time and location for the repair. Service happened exactly as shown in their commercial. The repair was done with a special resin – no need to replace the windshield. And your insurance covers the cost. An ‘A’ for service with no surprises. Plus, Safelite donates part of their revenue to charity.

Businesses large and small know they need creative, attention-getting PR / Marketing to stay top of mind. For great ideas and interesting content, let’s talk: [email protected] Great PR doesn’t happen by itself.

Stanley Hurwitz is the founder of Creative Communications, Plymouth, Mass.

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