Q&A: Is a company’s 50th anniversary worthy of a PR effort? 3 Strategies
Q: Our marketing agency will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017. We’ve grown from a mom and pop shop to an award-winning firm serving blue chips with 100 employees in New York and Portland, Oregon. Leveraging this milestone to garner media coverage in the top marketing and advertising trade publications is important to us as we want to showcase our new capabilities to client prospects.
A: Although your company anniversary is certainly a milestone and is extremely impressive, in general, the media will pass on pitches that are solely focused on a company anniversary unless it is tied in with something else that is groundbreaking or newsworthy. That said, your upcoming anniversary can be an opportunity to underscore your company’s thought leadership in the space in which you operate. Here are 3 strategies:
Think back, then look ahead. Use the impending anniversary as a time to reflect back on the history of your firm. Are there historical trends that have informed your agency’s work to date that also make a statement about your brand? How will this change in the anniversary year? Is it how new technology was used (or not) early on and how it will be tapped in the future to elevate your work, deliver greater client value or improve systems. Write about it on your company blog and push this content out across social channels. Then, craft a media pitch around it with a “then” and “now” angle.
Identify a unique company trait, something that if seen by key stakeholders – including client prospects and strategic partners – would make them take notice and want to visit your website for more information. How is your company culture different? Are there internal systems or initiatives that outsiders don’t know about, but should? Anything cutting edge, such as a reverse mentoring initiative, unusual or new age creative thought-building process, access to education, office space design? Then, a compelling media pitch might include something like, “2017 Marks Agency’s 50th Anniversary; Marketing Firm Embraces Culture of Diversity and Storytelling.
Invest in a research study to showcase thought leadership. If your company has the resources, the results of a proprietary research study can draw attention to your firm’s anniversary and thought leadership as well as provide valuable data points. As an example, Heat, a creative agency, conducted a survey, “Why Women Working in Advertising Need to Stop Apologizing All the Time” as a means of underscoring their industry leadership, and how they dig deep. The results were presented at the 3% Conference and also featured in an AdWeek story.
How did your company leverage a milestone to garner media coverage?