E-Supply Chain Book Launch
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E-Supply Chain Book Launch

Computer Sciences Corporation, a global consulting and information technology services firm, requested PepperCom’s assistance to build sustained visibility of the company’s national supply chain and electronic commerce practices.

Paul Holmes

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), a leading global consulting and information technology services firm, requested PepperCom’s assistance in its efforts to build sustained visibility of the company’s national supply chain and electronic commerce practices.
 
PepperCom leveraged the launch of E-Supply Chain: Using the Internet to Revolutionize Your Business, a book scheduled for release in January 2001, as the centerpiece of this program. E-Supply Chain authors, Charles Poirier and Michael Bauer, are CSC Consulting partners driving the national supply chain and electronic commerce practices respectively.    
 
CSC Consulting’s objectives were clear: To establish CSC as a business leader in collaborative commerce and e-supply chain by presenting Poirier and Bauer as world-class thought leaders; to raise awareness of CSC and its supply chain capabilities and expertise with potential clients; and to strengthen CSC brand recognition in target national business audiences and with key media.
 
PepperCom recognized the strength in experience and years of service comprising the co-authors’ backgrounds. Following media training of co-author’s Poirier and Bauer, PepperCom proposed a three-pronged supply chain publicity campaign. The sub-plans included strategies for the E-Supply Chain Launch (the core component), supply chain trade association outreach and university relations. All three components would roll out simultaneously.    
 
By the fall of 2000, the media started to scrutinize the retail industry’s ability to service the rapidly multiplying numbers of online shoppers. While keeping customers happy remained a core concern for businesses and critics, the stakes were raised during the holiday season with added pressure from the Federal Trade Commission, which had already fined Toys R Us among other companies that had failed to deliver on the previous Christmas season’s orders.
 
PepperCom’s strategy centered around leveraging the combined experience of Poirier and Bauer regarding supply chain and e-commerce experience—case studies proving that proper e-supply chain management was critical to retail success in Winter 2000.
 
PepperCom would proactively tailor e-supply chain/collaborative commerce messages for Poirier and Bauer to specific breaking news stories, positively positioning CSC as supply chain experts and building momentum for the E-Supply Chain book launch. The book’s content would serve as the platform for promoting CSC’s leadership position in collaborative commerce and e-supply chain.
 
The PR team launched the university relations and trade association outreach campaigns, designed to establish long-term relationships/partnerships between leading supply chain professors and industry association presidents, by sending complimentary copies of E-Supply Chain along with a personal invitation to discuss the topics contained within the book to industry groups and students.
 
The partnerships would ultimately result in co-branded research opportunities, speaking engagements, and educational and business development opportunities for core audiences focused on supply chain issues.
 
PepperCom’s book launch strategy heavily depended on breaking news stories starting in October 2000. As predicted, media published continual stories discussing the perceived impending doom of the holiday season. With the presidential election recount, damaged economy, new economy reparations, and holiday e-commerce preparations and predictions articles flooding the media, PepperCom rolled out more than seven related pitches and media advisories throughout the winter season. Each pitch and advisory highlighted E-Supply Chain content and offered Poirier and Bauer as spokespeople.
 
Simultaneously, PepperCom leveraged CSC Consulting’s participation at i2 Planet 2000, a trade show dedicated to supply chain management technology, and provided advance copies of E-Supply Chain accompanied by interview opportunities with Poirier and Bauer to attending supply chain trade media.
 
A January-slated roundtable discussing the importance of supply chain management teamed CSC Consulting with AMR Research and Oracle. Pitching the event as an exclusive opportunity to observe thought leaders advancing the industry, PepperCom secured Reuter’s attendance, which resulted in an article highlighting CSC Consulting’s key messages.
 
With the holiday stories dying out by January 2001, PepperCom continued the campaign with the distribution of E-Supply Chain to select technology analysts and business, trade and book media representatives. Follow up on the mailings yielded several interviews with Poirier and Bauer in addition to published book reviews.
 
CSC Consulting had a tremendous need to build its credibility and visibility in the supply chain arena, a key area of business for the corporation. Strategic media targets were selected in the three key media areas of print, broadcast and online. Success was achieved in all three areas. As a result of the media relations efforts supporting the launch of E-Supply Chain, CSC Consulting appeared in 38 total print articles and broadcast news stories reaching a conservative estimate of more than 51.7 million business executives and supply chain management and IT professionals.
 
The holiday/e-tailing-focused supply chain pitch program alone yielded an estimated 27,984,294 media impressions. The additional national media outreach supporting the release of E-Supply Chain has yielded a conservative estimate of 23,794,150 media impressions.
 
The majority of the articles were placed in the most prominent and demographically appealing business and technology publications whose readers are business leaders and ultimately potential CSC clients. Articles and book excerpts were printed in most of the leading supply chain trade publications—which are read religiously by supply chain management professionals who make buying decisions for their companies.
 
Print coverage appeared in outlets such as InfoWorld, InternetWeek, Dallas Morning News, Computer Reseller News and The Financial Times. Wire and broadcast coverage included outlets such as Reuters, Bloomberg Radio and KRLD Business Radio-Dallas.
 
The articles represented in supply chain trade publications focus on the collaborative commerce themes presented in E-Supply Chain. In nearly every case, these articles appear as major excerpts ranging from 2,000-5,000 words and cite CSC supply chain experts Poirier and Bauer as authors.        
 
Additionally, E-Supply Chain book sales at the time of this submission reached approximately 4,000 units (40,000 books).
 
Additional articles and stories focused on the increasing importance for e-tailers to have an efficient supply chain in order to satisfy holiday shoppers and keep them coming back in the future. In all cases CSC consultants Poirier and Bauer are presented as supply chain experts and thought leaders related to the future of e-supply chains—and/or collaborative commerce.
 
As CSC Consulting’s spokespeople for this project, Poirier and Bauer provided valuable insight for reporters who were often writing about the effects of e-supply chain for the first time. For these reporters, Poirier and Bauer have become “go-to resources” as these journalists continue to track the emergence of the e-supply chain.
 
To illustrate this, Ephraim Schwartz, editor-at-large at InfoWorld, has called on several occasions looking to Poirier and Bauer to point out the “next big trend” in supply chain management (see February 5, 2001 cover story on “merge-in-transit” trend). Mel Duvall, section editor at Interactive Week, called for comment on Oracle’s decision to outsource logistical operations to Logistics.com. Finally, Chuck Moozakis, an editor with InternetWeek, called to obtain a comment on Genuity’s move into application hosting of supply chain services.
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