Keystone Marketing Specialists, Inc.

Keystone Marketing Specialists, Inc.

What they do: Keystone Marketing provides retail field marketing services for computer and consumer electronics vendors. Services are designed to increase sales at the retail level.

PR Goal: Compared to its competitors, Keystone Marketing is a relatively small company.  It relies on only eight full-time employees and approximately 200 independent contractors to fulfill its service contracts. Keystone was up against several large consulting firms perceived to have more marketing muscle and greater name recognition.

The primary goal was to raise industry awareness of Keystone Marketing’s services.  A secondary goal was to gain recognition of Keystone’s founder and President, Karen Settle, as a successful businesswoman with the experience, knowledge and ability to spearhead even the largest company’s retail marketing plan.

Results: Carter-West PR pursued a two-pronged approach to achieve its primary and secondary objectives.  The initial step was to survey Keystone’s industry partners and clients to isolate key issues. The survey uncovered a clear need among retail stores for more training from their vendors. Addressing this issue, Carter-West developed a feature pitch that resulted in articles and coverage in all of the campaign’s key publications; including TWICE (This Week in Consumer Electronics), Computer Retail Week, Computing Channels, Consumer Multimedia Report, and Computer Entertainment & Retailing.

To achieve the secondary objective Carter-West PR focused on one of Settle’s unique business practices–outsourcing.  Settle was a strong supporter of using independent contractors and the idea was attracting widespread interest.  Taking advantage of this trend Carter-West promoted Settle as an outsourcing expert, obtaining articles in INC Magazine, Entrepeneur, the Los Angeles Times and Executive Female; appearances on CNBC’s “Minding Your Business,” “How to Succeed in Business,” CNN/FN’s “Business Unusual”, CNN’s “Lou Dobb’s Money Line” and interviews on several prominent radio shows. Settle also appeared as a panel participant at Women in Technology International’s (WITI’s) annual “Business in Technology” conference.

In the first eight months of Carter-West PR’s comprehensive public relations program, industry awareness of Keystone Marketing and Karen Settle had plainly skyrocketed.  With these objectives achieved, Carter-West PR and Keystone Marketing moved on to formulate and address new goals promoting Keystone’s continued growth.