Media Tour Yields Great Returns For US Email Experts

Parker, Wayne &  Kent Raise Awareness of Return Path and Deliverability in the UK

“The UK media’s awareness of us was nowhere near what we expected,” said Return Path’s Senior Director of Global Corporate Communications, Tami Monahan Forman. “Even worse was that very few journalists from our target media had a decent understanding of the important issues that we work with. For Return Path to launch successfully in the UK , we needed this remedied immediately.

“Parker, Wayne & Kent planned and executed a media tour that raised awareness of Return Path and its work, established us as thought leaders in the field of email marketing and secured us great coverage in our target media, including a twice-monthly column in a key title. In just a few weeks, Parker, Wayne & Kent helped turn us from relative unknowns to trusted, valued contributors to the media.”

Return Path is the world’s leading email deliverability services company, helping commercial email marketers to get their emails delivered successfully to consumers’ inboxes. The US-based firm has been helping marketers with their email “deliverability” since 1999; in early 2009 they opened offices in the UK and Europe . Return Path hired Parker, Wayne & Kent Public Relations to support their UK launch with a media tour to raise awareness of the company and of issues affecting email deliverability.

Although Return Path has a very high media profile in the United States , Parker, Wayne & Kent ’s initial media audit found that the company was almost completely unknown among the UK marketing media. To prepare for the media tour, Parker, Wayne & Kent identified a target media list of key marketing publications and prioritised them by relevance, circulation and audience, while also researching the journalists who covered email marketing for each publication.

Once the target media had been identified and prioritised, Parker, Wayne & Kent contacted the news editors and email marketing reporters at the UK ’s leading marketing magazines with a news story, based on recent Return Path research, which showed that major UK brands were damaging their email deliverability by failing to follow simple best practice. This story raised awareness of the issue of email deliverability and created interest in Return Path.

Parker, Wayne & Kent ’s PR professionals phoned journalists to promote this news story and to offer them a briefing with senior Return Path executives, so they could initiate a relationship and educate the journalists on the latest issues affecting email marketing.

Having secured briefings with leading trade titles Revolution, ClickZ, Marketing Direct and New Media Age, as well as with industry analysts Ovum, Parker, Wayne & Kent prepared a briefing document for journalists. This gave a background to Return Path and the issues they work with, including company information, talking points on deliverability issues, an introduction to the company’s industry-leading certification programme, as well as information about Return Path’s latest and future research. This briefing document would serve as an essential initial primer for journalists in advance of the briefing, as well as being a useful reference document.

Parker, Wayne & Kent also drafted briefing documents for Return Path’s executives, giving information on each publication and journalist to be briefed, their background and recent articles on email marketing, so that they could tailor their briefings for each journalist and title.

The briefings gave Return Path the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise to the journalists and to educate them about current issues in email marketing. At the same time, Parker, Wayne & Kent’s used the briefing to investigate forthcoming editorial opportunities for Return Path and to discuss future opportunities to contribute to news and feature articles. After the briefing, Parker, Wayne & Kent managed journalist follow-ups, ensuring that they had all the information they needed, and providing any additional material that was requested during the briefing.

In the space of a few weeks, Parker, Wayne & Kent secured 19 pieces of editorial coverage for Return Path in the UK marketing media, including such key industry titles as Marketing Week, DMI News, B2B Marketing, Utalkmarketing and The highlight of the media tour was securing a twice-monthly opinion column in the UK ’s leading direct marketing title, Marketing Direct.

Aside from the coverage that it generated, the media tour was also very successful in raising awareness of Return Path in the UK , as well as establishing deliverability as a major issue in the marketing media.

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