Current Issue

Column: Have some news? Don't by shy: Share it with us

Comments Email

I've never been a fan of self-promotion. However, when it comes to companies in the rubber industry, that feeling doesn't always wash.

On a personal level, I abhor people who just have to tell you how fabulous they are, either blatantly or in more subtle terms. A perfect example of this kind of behavior is demonstrated by any politician running for office.

Some of my prejudice comes from a career in journalism, a field notorious for self-promotion. A newspaper, magazine or website holds the keys to the castle, the ability to publish anything it wants, no matter how self-laudatory. Other companies—and I mean advertisers—have to pay for that privilege.

Most larger companies recognize it is beneficial to let others in the business, from customers to employees to suppliers, know about its positive developments. They are adept at getting that publicity, too.

I'll tell you how and why you should do it. By you, I mean the small-to-medium rubber product companies and suppliers that don't have a public relations operative on the payroll. I'll start with the why.

Consider your all-important customers. If they see a respected publication has deemed something your company has done merits coverage, that puts your business in a good light. Your firm stands out from competitors.

Such a story can be a morale booster for employees. It also might catch the interest of quality folks you wouldn't mind hiring someday. Meanwhile, vendors and lenders can see your company is active, engaged in the industry, a good firm with which to conduct business.

Rubber industry companies, especially smaller manufacturers, constantly are creating news that never gets reported. Items such as staff promotions, equipment purchases, factory or office expansions, new products and markets typically are worthy of press. Where and when the items may appear varies, but these type of good news events are welcomed by a publication such as this one.

Rubber & Plastics News editors like stories about the big tire makers. But these items often aren't exclusive, since they are about large, publicly held firms followed by much of the press. Editors love that word “exclusive,” which often describes stories about smaller, often privately held rubber industry companies.

The more you get your firm's name out, the more you develop a relationship with the editors. When working on a major, broader story, a reporter will contact people who are in the know, which might be you. That provides a nice opportunity to show off your and the business' expertise.

How do you get started? Easy: contact an editor. Call them or email a short news release, which can say as much or little as you want. The executive editor—Bruce Meyer, at bmeyer@crain.com, or the managing editor, Don Detore, at ddetore@crain.com—will take it from there.

Noga is a contributing editor for RPN and its former editor. He can be reached at elnmails@yahoo.com.