The Forgotten Role of Product Publicity

There is so much emphasis today on digital marketing and communicating directly with your prospective customers that it is easy to overlook a major role that product publicity plays in the media. That is, for content creation, data gathering and dictating the future editorial focus of a media outlet.

I remember the day, early in 1977, when the editor of ComputerWorld, Drake Lundell phoned our office and asked me, “who are you?” “I’m Steve Stroum, a product publicist,” I replied. Lundell said, “why haven’t you called on me like every other flak? “Because I’m not like every other flak and wanted to become recognized for the quality of my work,” I said. “You have,” said Lundell, “would you like to come over and meet my staff?” “Absolutely,” I replied..

In order to get the most publicity for our small business clients, I had to assure that Venmark would be a “source of information” for media outlets. Getting that validation would not be an easy task. So, when it happened within our first six month in business, I was very excited. I was thrilled to get that call. When I arrived at ComputerWorld, Lundell introduced me to his reporters and said, “Meet Steve Stroum, he’s the president of Venmark, a high quality source of information about companies we otherwise might not know about.”

That was, and still is, an important role of product publicity for media outlets. They are in business to inform their audience. The higher the quality of editorial product and news value, the more that can be charged for advertising services. In addition, product publicity allows digital and print media outlets to understand and quantify what topics their audience is interested in. Real-time data which lets them modify their content to satisfy those interests.

Media outlets utilize the feedback they receive from their audience to decide what new websites and publications to spin-off and begin. Back in 1977, ComputerWorld was the only publication that existed in the computer industry. Today there are thousands of publications, websites, newsletters, and blogs serving every aspect of the computer industry. Smart marketers understand the role of product publicity.

In conclusion, from a media outlet standpoint, Venmark International provides them with high-quality news and information about companies, many of which they might not otherwise know about. For our clients, we are using product publicity as a marketing tool for new business development, inbound marketing, sales lead generation, distributor and dealer support, and to explore new market niches, among other strategies. We are very sensitive to helping media outlets inform and expand their audiences. That is the forgotten role of product publicity.


© 2016 Steven M. Stroum (with permission to share)

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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