ComPRehension

Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
October 28, 2008

Kodak – Think Ink


*Related to the co-presentation by Roy Edmondson, senior vice president, brand marketing, global account director, Ketchum and Erin Foster, worldwide public relations director, consumer digital group, Eastman Kodak titled Live From New York: Kodak Revolutionizes the Inkjet Industry at the PRSA 2008 International Conference: The Point of Connection.

So how do you enter an industry in which the category leader owns roughly 80 percent of the market share and analysts are openly questioning your chances at success? With a strong message, of course. The “Think Ink” program did just that for Kodak’s entrance into the inkjet printing market.

Ketchum and Kodak teamed up to introduce its new all-in-one printer with one major message—its ink costs were up to 50 percent less than competitors. Many of us have fallen for the cheap printer/expensive ink trick, which makes the Kodak printer an attractive option.

To make sure the message was heard loud and clear, the team staged a press conference in a Saturday Night Live-like skit in New York City—complete with Kodak’s CEO as host, comedians and special guest Molly Shannon. The format worked wonderfully, as roughly 200 guests and journalists packed the studio to see Kodak’s big and nontraditional announcement. The result: Positive coverage in BusinessWeek, the Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Bloomberg and more. Roughly 80 percent of coverage reflected Kodak’s low-cost ink messaging.

This session was a reminder that we don’t always have to use the same methods of communication (news release, traditional press conference, media outreach, repeat). In this case, Ketchum and Kodak took a risk with how they presented a crucial announcement. As they say, with great risks come great rewards. I was proud to be a Ketchum employee to see the work we were able to accomplish with Kodak.

By Kevin Saghy is an assistant account executive at Ketchum Public Relations and is a member of the PRSA 2008 International Conference committee.

For coverage on the PRSA 2008 International Conference: The Point of Connection, visit www.prsa.org/conf2008.

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