Product Publicity Return-on-Investment

CharleswaterLogoI was doing one project per month with Charleswater Products and playing a key role in their marketing efforts.  When I arrived for one of our monthly meetings back in the early 80s, my client, George Berbeco, who owned the company, announced that he wanted to do three projects per month.  I was surprised and asked why?  “Because up until now I have been positioning my products for sale and now I want to position my company for sale,” he said.

He went on to explain that he had received an offer to purchase his company and wanted to increase the value of his business.  George had appropriately figured out that the power of publicity to position products was scalable to the entire company.  We partnered for many years and I learned a great deal from George. So, we ramped up his publicity campaign to include more products, product applications, white papers and the like to key audiences.


I remember when he started Charleswater Products, specializing in static control products for the electronics industry, he attended a trade show and got himself on the program as a guest speaker.  In the show literature, he announced that Charleswater Products, Inc. was the second leading supplier in the static control business.  In those days, 3M was the only company in the static control business besides his!  Naturally, we put out a press release that he was speaking at the show. Ironically, even though it was general publicity he received an order from an old friend who didn’t realize he was in the static control business. It was a $5,000.00 order: a nice bonus!


Well, the upshot of George’s positioning Charleswater Products for sale was that within a year he received over $1.2 million more than the first offer he had received and he sold his company to Armstrong World Industries, Inc. I can assure you, the additional 24 publicity projects he hired Venmark for cost him a tiny fraction of that amount.  Talk about publicity return-on-investment!


Steve Stroum

Steve Stroum

Steven M. Stroum, founder and president of Venmark International is a seasoned publicist, marketer, and entrepreneur who has been featured in INC Magazine, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, Industrial Marketing, OMNI Magazine, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, The Middlesex News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other media outlets. He has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, addressed many business and civic groups, and been a guest lecturer at Boston College, Babson College, MIT, and his alma mater Northeastern University.

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