Barkley Evergreen Marketing Program
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
CEO

Barkley Evergreen Marketing Program

Building our own reputation and brand among is an important part of our overall marketing program. Our program involves business-to-business direct mail initiatives, an ad campaign and public relations initiatives.

Paul Holmes

 

Barkley Evergreen & Partners Public Relations has consistently been ranked one of the nation’s top PR firms by key national public relations magazines and has received numerous awards from IABC and PRSA.  PRWeek awarded BE&P and the Lee Company Cause-Related Public Relations Campaign of the Year at the recent PRWeek Awards Gala for Lee National Denim Day.  Some of Barkley Evergreen & Partners’ public relations clients include:  Blue Bunny Ice Cream, Employers Reinsurance Corporation (ERC®), Farmland Industries, NetSales, Inc., North Kansas City Hospital, Payless ShoeSource, Parade, Sonic Drive-In, Sprint Publishing & Advertising, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, American Italian Pasta Company, Tenneco Automotive Monroe Shocks and Vulcan Chemicals.  

Barkley Evergreen & Partners Inc., a full-service strategic marketing firm providing advertising, public relations, sales promotion, event marketing, customer service, market research and direct and Internet and Interactive marketing.  BE&P serves a wide array of national clients in a variety of industries, including:  retail, entertainment, restaurant, computer, package goods, telecommunications, financial services, real estate, hospitality and automotive.  Since its founding in 1964, Barkley Evergreen & Partners has grown to have annual capitalized billings of more than $280 million and employs 250 associates.  

Building our own reputation and brand among is an important part of our overall marketing program.  Our program involves business-to-business direct mail initiatives, an ad campaign and public relations initiatives.

CHALLENGE:

Create awareness of BE&P Public Relations in order to be included in agency searches and initiate first introductory discussions and meetings between BE&P and our prospective clients.     

RESEARCH:

Our ongoing research tells us that building relationships takes time.  And, we need to create door openers that garner our audience’s attention so we can begin building relationships.  It is important to develop a contact management program that keeps BE&P in front of our target audiences.  As well, the more we build relationships with prospects, the more we discover about their business and can listen to their needs.

OBJECTIVES:

Our marketing program has three objectives:  

  • Our primary objective was to position BE&P Public Relations as a prominent player among the country’s leading firms.  
  • Our second objective was to create ads that were a refreshing change to the boring financially-driven ads other firms were using.   
  • Our third objective was to help open the door to conversations with prospective companies.

METHODS:

I.  BE&P’s creative team designed a series of ads that addressed our core service areas. 

Crisis Communications:  It matters to us what others say about you.

Media Relations:  It matters to us what others hear about you.

Cause Marketing:  It matters to us where your heart is.

Reputation Management (general overview ad):  It matters to us what others think about you.

II.  BE&P developed two direct mail programs that we use to help open the door to conversations that result in building awareness of BE&P.
Evergreen tree mailer - building on our firm’s name, our first direct mail piece asks, “How can you help awareness of your company grow?”  On the inside of the box, the payoff reads:  “Hire the right public relations firm.  Barkley [implied Evergreen] & Partners, Inc.  Where the word Evergreen should be, we instead insert a live Colorado Evergreen seedling for the prospect to plant as he/she wishes.  There is additional copy beneath this that reads:  Through media relations, cause marketing, crisis management, internal communications and business communications, BE&P promotes, enhances and protects our clients’ reputations and helps grow the visibility of our clients – clients who’ve credited us with helping them flourish while their competitors simply wilted.  To see positive visibility of your organization grow, hire a public relations firm that understands growth. [The address and phone number are included.]

We use this as our initial door opener.

Coffee mailer – As a follow-up piece, BE&P created another business-to-business direct mail piece that helps communicate our firm’s ability to be creative problem-solvers.
Along with a picture of an old time coffee grinder and assorted coffee beans, the outside of the box reads:  “Need to grind out some fresh ideas?”
BE&P worked with The Roasterie coffee maker to design a brew specifically for BE&P.  We went to The Roasterie and drank a ton of coffee and helped to create this special brew.  The result is that in this coffee mailer we include two small packages of BE&P’s special regular and decaf coffee.  The inside reads “Blend in some fresh thinking.”  Through media relations, cause marketing, crisis management, internal communications and business communications.  Barkley Evergreen & Partners, Inc. promotes, enhances and protects our clients’ reputations and helps grow the visibility of our clients – clients who’ve credited us with helping them rise to the top.  Call BE&P at (816) 512-9122.  [The address and phone number are included.]
We use this as a second mailer.

RESULTS        

BE&P Public Relations unveiled a creative campaign that has positioned it as one of the country’s leading firms.  Since the launch of the campaign we have been included in more agency searches and have been sent more RFPs than in previous years.  We can estimate that this ad campaign has helped play a role in our overall marketing strategy and has helped make this happen.

BE&P Public Relations received several phone calls and e-mails from individuals who saw the ads and said they looked great.  These people thought enough about them to take the time to communicate with us. 
The business-to-business direct mail campaign is a great success.  No one can just allow the tree or coffee to sit to wilt or lose its flavor.  The result is more open and inviting conversation-starters that help us to establish a line of communication between our firm and prospective clients.
These direct mail initiatives have helped us build awareness for our company, enhanced our reputation and have helped open the door to conversations about their needs.  Out of approximately 500 prospects, we have built ongoing communication and have had meetings or have participated in agency searches with 20% since the inception of the program.  
Our target prospects are proprietary.  We apologize that we could not divulge their identity.

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