By: Rich Katz, Founder & Managing Director
Publicity is the type of promotion that relies on the public relations effect of a news story usually carried free by mass media. Its main objective is not sales promotion, but image creation through editorial or “independent source” commentary. Two examples of how Buffalo’s relationships with journalists came into play last week.
- Major Reach – USA Today annually produces a special print and online Masters Tournament supplement. Buffalo clients Arccos, CHASE54, ECCO, Galvin Green, K-MOTION, Seven Dreamers, TecTecTec and Under Armour Eyewear dominated a sizable golf-products article.
- Coverage Aplenty – The New York Times heavily featured the CEO of Bridgestone Golf (another Buffalo client) as did CBS Sports, Forbes, Golf Channel, PGATour.com and Yahoo! Finance. Primed to follow suit as part of their Masters Tournament coverage are CNBC, The Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune. ESPN, Golf Digest, GOLF Magazine, PGA Tour and Score Golf majorly promoted Bridgestone Golf through their social media channels.
Although correlated, there is a difference between feeling happy and finding life meaningful. The latter feeds the former, especially when it comes to an extreme amount of time spent in the workplace. Stressing the importance of purpose increases engagement, productivity and performance. The passion behind what Buffalo does drives our team to tirelessly market brands and stimulate sales. It’s also resulted in promotion of several members of our leadership team:
- David Griffith, Vice President – A Buffalo for over a decade, David leads public relations and marketing programs for our golf-lifestyle products portfolio. He also serves as Executive Editor of Buffalo.Bureau overseeing operation of the firm’s proprietary newsroom-style PR platform for story development and distribution.
- Jill Headley, Vice President – Starting in 2001 with Buffalo’s parent company, Billy Casper Golf, Jill’s focus areas for the agency include data-driven insights, media buying, e-commerce and special projects. She oversees account management and client service functions through goal-based strategies and metrics.
- Chad Kurz, Senior Director – Since joining Buffalo in early 2017, Chad has worked on myriad marketing programs for B2B and B2C products, online stores, and state and professional golf associations. In this new role, he is responsible for raising the agency’s creative profile and driving standout campaign development and design for clients.
- David Wood, Director – A member of the Buffalo team since 2010, Wood authored the acclaimed book Around the World in 80 Rounds. Representing Buffalo in the New York City market, he directs public relations strategy and media outreach for our client roster of premier golf resorts and destinations.
The past 15 months, Buffalo added 24 new accounts, including Chef’s Cut Real Jerky, Destination Kohler, Under Armour Eyewear, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and other top brands. Our work spans marketing strategy, public relations, content development, social media, media buying, creative, analytics, and digital and search-engine marketing.
Life is short, live it up:
Dream Escapes – For nearly three decades, Carr Golf Travel has built an impeccable reputation for creating, planning and executing ultimate golf trips to exceptional courses in Ireland and Scotland. They include The Old Course at St. Andrews, Ballybunion, Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, Waterville and Turnberry. Custom itineraries contain otherwise-hard-to-get tee times, luxury accommodations, transportation, sightseeing, fine dining, caddies and all else needed for stress-free, unforgettable golf vacations. Carr Golf Travel hosts World Invitational Father & Son / Father & Daughter tournaments, an Invitational Links Pro-Am series and corporate trips around the Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup and other major events. Buffalo manages public relations, content development and search engine marketing for Carr Golf Travel, winner of Golf Digest’s “Best Tour Operator” Editors’ Choice Award.
Fine, Fun Times – The luxurious Reserva Conchal Beach Resort, Golf & Spa is on Costa Rica’s scenic northwestern Pacific coast. Its Robert Trent Jones II-designed golf course hosts the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica Essential Costa Rica Classic (May 7-13) and ranks No. 1 in the country by Golfweek. The PGA TOUR Academy at Reserva Conchal conducts golf lessons by leading instructors form the famed TPC Sawgrass. Along the brilliant white sands of Playa Concha, the resort development covers 2,300 acres. It is home to the all-inclusive Westin Golf Resort & Spa Playa Conchal and premium vacation residences. Property owners enjoy access to the 60,000 square-foot Reserva Conchal Beach Club with an expansive swimming pavilion, modern workout facilities, fine dining and world-class spa. Buffalo’s public relations, digital marketing and sales consultation work continues to impact sales lift.
March Madness –Television advertising during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is the second largest post-season sports franchise behind only the NFL playoffs. Notwithstanding, its ad revenue growth rate trails NBA, NFL and MLB post-seasons the past five years. That’s due to the prohibitive cost of advertising relative to the global audience size and difficulty calculating ROI to justify the enormous spend. Advertisers are also hamstrung because, unlike professional sports, they can’t feature college athletes in commercials. Brands are shifting money once spent on March Madness to public relations, digital-direct initiatives and cool experiential marketing for a more well-rounded approach.
You Can Do It – The American Cornhole League just held its second national tournament in Las Vegas. The live action was on ESPN3. Perception of cornhole had been a game, but a global TV audience instantly made it a sport. Targeting the core, competitive cornhole community isn’t big enough to ensure a viable participation base for the future. If the league hadn’t pursued ESPN, then growth would likely have stunted. It’s amazing how paid and earned media can legitimize almost anything and open new revenue streams.
Hardly cheesy, understanding the psychological concept of “comfort zone” can prompt you to make changes and mature personally and professionally. Eschew auto-pilot and embrace living beyond your normal behavior space. The clock is ticking, so why stick to routine and certainty? All to minimize stress and optimize security? Then there’s healthy pressure that comes with operating outside the comfort zone. Typically, challenges aren’t insurmountable as originally believed.
- Think progressively and experiment by taking to something at which you may not succeed. You’re smart, so exploration is a calculated risk. Odds are you’ll rise to the occasion over time.
- Don’t pay a heavy price that comes with stagnancy over the fear of failure. Not everyone is perfect. Others fumble. Even if judged by others, don’t take detractors as seriously as they may take you.
- Open up and be creative. Don’t care about being vulnerable to opinions and rejection. Others likely can’t do better and, if so, so be it.
- Show intellectual curiosity, imagination and emotional interests to make you a more fulfilled, balanced, interesting and conversant person.
- Acknowledge that comfort zones have boundaries. Trying the extreme creates anxiety that interferes with the ability to tackle risks. Take baby steps and ladder up to greater ventures.
Buffalo’s parent company, Billy Casper Golf, has been a leader in golf course management for decades. This success has led to
creation of Billy Casper Signature, operator of private golf and country clubs. We figured out the recipe to generate increases in happier and new members. Scratching the surface:
- Re-capture the custom of families spending weekends together at clubs through new, diverse and fun programming like Fitbit walks, Netflix nights, chili cook-offs which take less than four- to five-hour- golf rounds.
- Offer multiple traditional, digital and social ways for members to efficiently learn about and book activities.
- Structure member classifications by blending hard metrics (frequency of club use) and soft metrics (business connections and personal prestige) to validate the value proposition.
The real culprit of shortfalls in clubs’ coffers isn’t erosion of the concept of joining a club. It’s those who manage clubs and their inflexibility and complacency to change and innovate. They need to think like club members, not club owners. Members are royalty and satisfying their needs must supersede agendas of Board members. Club managers’ should adopt a mindset of devoting more energy to create a culture based on a full slate of activities representing the club’s heartbeat. The common denominator is people who, surveys show, don’t primarily join clubs for the site itself. They do so for a sense of belonging that’s rooted in time spent with like-minded people who help create lifelong memories.