Do you know Spanish company Puig?
According to their own website, it’s a fragrance, cosmetics and fashion company, founded in 1914 in Barcelona, 100% family owned. In 2010, Puig generated net revenues of 1.2 billion euros, 75% of which is generated outside Spain, its main market. In 2010, Puig has grown to 7% market share of the perfume market. Some of the prestige brands Puig represents are Paco Rabanne, Carolina Herrera and Prada. Puig has subsidiaries in 21 countries and its products are distributed in over 130 countries. Chairman and CEO is Marc Puig and currently the company has 3,600 employees.
When on 3 May, it was Puig who acquired Hermès’ stake in Gaultier, I wanted to know more about the transaction and this relatively unknown company. I found two things remarkable:
1. On Puig’s website I could not find a press release or any reference about the transaction. This is odd since they are the ones who bought the stake.
2. After analysing a few news articles online, the story about the transaction was told from the perspective of Gaultier and Hermès and only briefly mentioned Puig.
Since I could not find a press release from Puig, or news articles which relate to interviews with the CEO, I can only assume that there has not been a press conference or any interviews with international media in which the CEO explained the rationale behind Puig’s acquisition. I would say it’s a missed opportunity for Puig to have any international exposure about the CEO, the company, their roots, mission and strategy.
Why interviews or press events?
Even if a company is 100% family owned and not bound by disclosure rules, more transparency and clarity around certain key topics will help further build a company’s reputation which in turn helps to retain and gain access to the best clients, partners, deals and talent.
Especially companies like Puig with a portfolio of brands benefit from a well organised Corporate Communications. Usually these companies know very well how to market (and communicate around) their brands. They seem to lack however a media strategy, a foundation, to get a fair amount of favourable exposure in key global business media.
4 Tips How To Get a Fair Amount of Favourable Media Exposure for Corporate News
1. Pro-active media campaign
Build a relationship with key company / sector writers and editors. By the time your company announces an acquisition, your key reporters know your company spokesperson, the CEO, CFO and the company already well and have the necessary background information. During my 7 years at Heineken I built a long term pro-active media plan, agreed it with the CEO and CFO and requested top management to participate. We actively sought opportunities throughout the year for brand and company news to provide to journalists and when there was no news, we organised background meetings for those journalists who needed more information about the company (e.g. about strategy) in order to educate them. A lot of effort goes into media training of top management and building key messages, but if you do this with passion and commitment, rewards (in the form of great exposure) are high.
2. Corporate press releases
Not only write brand press release, also write quality corporate press releases to deliver facts and provide the news (such as an acquisition) from your perspective: Include a quote from the CEO in which he/she explains the rationale behind the acquisition and make sure your most important media picks up this quote. Follow up with phone calls. Post corporate press releases on the homepage of your website so that journalists and bloggers from all over the world can find this information 24/7.
Improve your Online Communication by enlarging your press section. Provide interesting background information for journalists, such as images, speeches, videos, biographies of top management and background stories etc. Do this even if you are not stock listed.
4. Press conference or interviews
When announcing an acquisition, organise a press conference (big acquisition) or schedule key telephone interviews (smaller acquisition) with the most important global and local business media. Don’t wait until they call you but instead arrange upfront with whom your CEO needs to speak. If you do this, you will notice that the journalist in question, appreciates the time he/she gets with your CEO which increases the chance that your company receives a fair amount of attention in the media.
Let me know if these tips are useful and if you would like to add some more. I welcome additional suggestions.