Case Studies in Business Excellence
The biggest secret in marketing is that the best type of promotion is editorial coverage, which tells an interesting story that people remember and they don’t experience as overt marketing. Despite the benefits of electronic and web-based media, printed articles have uniquely positive qualities: they can be more in-depth, are read by the most serious potential or actual customers, and are most likely to be marked-up and kept for action and future reference. Reprints can play an important part in any integrated marketing program.
The challenge these days is that millions of American companies are chasing shrinking editorial space in newspapers and magazines, due to less advertising, so most good business stories don’t get the attention they deserve.
I know because I spent 14 years at an agency doing PR for 85 publicly-held companies. I have also been a marketing consultant to clients like ExxonMobil and the U.S. Postal Service, have owned and managed a variety of small firms, have been an editor several times, and had over 1000 articles published in nearly 200 major publications (click links above see my editorial resume and examples of my work). I bring a unique perspective to my editorial specialty, which is highlighting the best practices of smart companies of every size.
But I’ve grown increasingly frustrated by having proposals to write about fascinating entrepreneurs rejected by editors who often have no business management experience to be able to fairly judge the value of the story for readers.
And there’s another problem with mainstream media: their reporting is always full of factual errors. Reporters often have a limited understanding of the business they’re writing about, fact-checking is usually inadequate, editors don’t want the draft of a story shown to the subject lest it be “censored,” and there is a rush to deadline, with the inevitable result of mistakes. That understandably makes the company reluctant to use the article in marketing, even when the overall message is positive.
I spent four years recently as editor and publisher of a magazine for dentists which took an untraditional editorial approach which combined the independent point of view of good journalism with the accuracy that results from collaboration with the subject. It occurred to me that this had application to other businesses.
The result is Best Practices, which selectively agrees to do case studies to produce articles in print for web site posting, providing top notch business journalism and printing at a discounted price. The puts the featured company in control of its marketing and is more cost-effective and credible than advertorials, custom publishing reprints, or a company’s own brochures. The article can also be the gold standard for press kits to help reporters both to quickly understand the real story and improve their own accuracy.
For ways to use these printed articles and prices, click here.
I look forward to working with you,
Scott S. Smith
Publisher and Editorial Director