Constantly searching and striving for that elusive piece of WOW factor PR and the "holy grail" of brand coverage whether it be National TV, newspapers, magazine monthly's and now digital that results in the opening of the flood gates of mass consumer interest and more importantly sales growth, is an everyday challenge that drives me forward. Not one day is the same and it shouldn’t be otherwise I am doing something wrong!
Hi-Tec has a strong heritage, which provokes some powerful and in some cases fanatical emotional responses from the consumer & amp; journalist. Ranging from the adorable trainer "geek" who has a wardrobe full of unboxed classics including the must-have Hi-Tec Silver Shadow and Squash, to your avid outdoor enthusiast whose "kit" is truly cherished and essential in their entire wellbeing.
The true strength of PR, apart from the fact that it is relatively low cost activity, really does boil down to the fact that the choice of product and opinion supplied to the consumer is / should be one of an unbiased nature and speaks from experience and knowledge. Now don't get me wrong, this is not always the case and I have many press release literally copied and paste direct into publications without any additional thought or inspirational input. The most impactful articles are normally those that include a rating or unbiased review but they are also the biggest gamble. On every single occasion you put 100% trust in the product whilst trusting that the journalist will comment on the true performance taking into account retail price, product features, technology, comfort, durability and benefits. When they are good they are awesome and the impact is instant.
One really good example, that still makes me smile now, happened only a month ago. I remember seeding a gear review trail running women's shoe with a freelance journo who occasionally writes for the Metro - freebie London daily newspaper with just under 1 million readers! Never been the type of PR to ever pressurise a journo's on the exact date the article would come out (as most of them don’t know themselves until the editor agrees it and it is in black and white). It just so happened that Hi-Tec's General Manager, Ed van Wezel, was on his way up to London on a business trip, first thing on a Monday morning. The timing couldn’t have been more spot-on. As he sat on the train and began to skip through the pages he soon reached page 19 which had a review (1/4 page and product picture) on the Hi-Tec V-Lite Trail Eruption HPi. Not just any old review but an absolutely cracking, outstanding review - she loved them!
Anyway time stands still for no PR and you can never become complacent. When there are so many brands competing for a reduced about of editorial space in publications we look to the future and what I like to call the "parallel universe", Online PR. The majority of us now use the internet to buy various goods at the best price we can find them for. We are no longer happy as consumers to trudge up and down the high street comparing prices but have become more ferocious in how we spend every £1 of our hard-earnt money. The major strength of online PR is that a comparison or review is, on many occasions, the deciding factor of that purchase. Hi-Tec product may not be the cheapest on the web but if there is the additional great product review attached by a blogger or a trusted gear reviewer then you are likely to persuade that consumer to spend a couple more £'s than a competitor's product with an average review. Consumers want to control their own purchasing decision and love to leave comment / feedback on an instant and regular occasion. This "parallel universe" is, in my opinion, the future of product PR.
Global PR & Advertising Manager