A Robust Approach to Spreading Innovation Stories
In a world where brands compete for the attention of their customers, keeping pace is crucial for any organization looking to maintain its competitive edge. One brand that has truly mastered the art of innovative and effective storytelling is GORE-TEX, a global leader in advanced materials technology. GORE-TEX Professional, the Business Unit for professional end-users like firefighters, police, or military personnel, is a prime example of a brand that excels in effective storytelling. They’ve committed to engaging journalists of special interest magazines and have leveraged Presspage’s communication platform to be able to share compelling narratives with them, while at the same time increasing efficiency in their processes. In this customer reference case, we explore how GORE-TEX Professional, with the help of Presspage, has evolved their communication strategy to improve the important connections with their audience and achieve notable outcomes along the way.
The GORE-TEX Brand
Founded in 1958 by chemist Bill Gore and his wife Vieve in the basement of their home in Delaware, USA, today, W. L. Gore & Associates is a global materials science company with more than 12,000 Associates spanning five continents and thousands of products across industries — from high-performance fabrics to implantable medical devices. One of their very successful products is an extremely robust membrane, which can be used in many different outdoor and professional fabric applications, and is well-known under the GORE-TEX brand name.
Seasoned communications professional Andreas Marmsoler joined Gore in 2011 and was responsible for Global PR and Sponsorship strategy for the outdoor and lifestyle part of the GORE-TEX brand at first. For the last three years, he was responsible for the European PR and content strategy of the professional part of the GORE-TEX business, managing the PR for the professional audiences of GORE-TEX workwear, public safety, and defense business-related gear such as garments, footwear, and gloves. In this capacity, he managed the implementation of the Presspage newsroom for GORE-TEX Professional across Europe 2 years ago.
From Chaos to Order
The focus for the professional audiences of the brand is very targeted. End users include audiences such as military personnel, police forces, and firefighters, just to name a few. This means that the communication audiences that GORE-TEX Professional needs to reach through journalists are very targeted and niche. Andreas explains: “There was a real need for an integrated system that covers the whole value chain of a journalist interaction, instead of working with the 3 different systems we used at the time; a static website with no download option, an email system to distribute press releases & news and an excel file with a more or less updated distribution list.”
As solely responsible for PR within GORE-TEX Professional, Andreas heavily relies on PR agency support. “We needed a system for PR to allow our agencies to publish information in a comprehensive and organized way. The system had to be easy to use for everyone, for the agencies primarily, but for the journalists as well so that they can easily access the newsroom and download what they need for their publications. And ultimately, I wanted to be able to upload assets myself as well.” As soon as Andreas found the Presspage system, he was sold. The system checked all the boxes. Presspage makes usage easy, fast and therefore also more cost-efficient; once trained on the system, it only takes minutes to upload an article plus images.
“The support from Presspage worked out very well for us, and the response time is very short. If there are questions or issues, Presspage is always quick to offer answers and solutions”
Efficiencies and Building Relationship go hand in hand
Efficiency, both in costs and time, was the main argument for switching to Presspage, as well as the holistic view of the system. For the time being, GORE-TEX Professional only uses Presspage for the European markets, consisting of the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Sweden. For the brand, the newsroom is the door to the journalists’ world, where people can find information and download assets. Previously, it was never clear if a proactive email newsletter to journalists actually reached them. Andreas is also clear about adapting to the requirements of his audiences: “We needed to adapt to what the journalists want, which was an easy-to-use website to download all the information they require. Presspage helped us to fulfill their needs, so we can stay connected to them in an efficient way.”
For this efficiency, obviously, metrics are important. GORE-TEX Professional closely monitors if emails bounce, and if they are opened and read. Andreas explains that it really helps to be informed when talking to journalists. “For example, if a news item is sent out and a journalist opens it several times, it is easy to reach out and ask if there is anything else the PR agency can provide them with. It is a different discussion than “Did you get my email?”, as the quality of the customer experience improves. Additionally, it helps to know if someone is out of the office due to maternity leave, for example, so we can reach out to a colleague instead and ensure our information ends up with the right person.” Fortunately, the information GT sends out, often about innovations or fairs, can usually be prepared and planned. However, it is comforting to know that the system is always ready in case of incidents or emergencies.
Operating in a Niche: growing to 6,000 unique visitors
Over the past 3 years, GORE-TEX Professional has already reached 10,000 visits to the newsroom, of which 6,000 were unique visitors. Considering the small niche market the company operates in, these numbers are impressive. Before, GORE-TEX Professional did not have any reliable newsroom metrics to work with, so the comprehensive data that can be retrieved from the system makes reporting considerably easier. The team can now not only report on frequency and bounce rates, but also act on these data. For example, if open rates are low, it might be worth tweaking the message and sending out a second item, to make sure the audiences pick it up. GORE-TEX Professional uses the news items on their LinkedIn channel as well. If a story is not yet well-known internally, internal people often also get the news in the newsroom via this channel.
When asked if Andreas can offer any advice for other companies that are looking to implement a Presspage solution, he stresses how important it is to look at all the advantages. “In the world of PR, it’s not just about the expenses involved in adopting a new platform. It’s also about the improvements in your workflow and how much more you can accomplish efficiently. The boost in efficiency and the speed at which we can work actually save us a significant chunk of our budget. Plus, when we present the full picture, it makes discussing budget matters much simpler with the budget holders.”
The Road Ahead
Although Andreas recently moved to a different position within GORE-TEX Professional, Strategic Marketing, he still handles the European PR activities on an interim basis until his successor takes over. As GORE-TEX Professional continues to evolve and adapt to the needs of its stakeholders, the collaboration between GORE-TEX Professional and Presspage has not only improved efficiency but also brought valuable metrics to the table, enhancing the brand’s ability to fine-tune its messaging. With the responsive support from Presspage, GORE-TEX Professional has set a high standard for effective communication in the niche market. As we look ahead to the future, this success story serves as an inspiration for companies seeking to embrace efficiency and comprehensive solutions in their communication strategies.