April 4, 2013

Clover, USA Today, and PR

Scan Apr 2, 2013, 4_31 PM-page1

We’ve had some fun press lately (NYT, Globe, etc.) but nothing that was more exciting to us than USA Today. I was surprised at the reaction I got from customers and even employees. When USA Today was interviewing and taking pictures people were saying things like “who reads USA Today?” “where can you even buy that?”

The thing is, I’ve stayed in too many hotels, and flown on too many planes to not know that USA Today is everywhere. Their distribution is enormous. It’s just a little different than local papers we’re more used to seeing on corners around town. I knew a lot of people would read this. And I was really excited we were getting written up in the Business section (USA Today Money).

The story they decided to write was about our speed. We think that’s great. This is something we’re obsessed with at Clover. And while I know there are times we’re lagging, on average we’re really not too far behind a McDonald’s. We measure our speed throughout the day and every manager has access to that data on a real-time basis.

I’m hiring a PR firm for our Burlington launch. This isn’t something I would have thought of doing in the past. But it’s something I’m taking seriously right now. Our coverage by the press has been awesome over the past 4 years, really more than we could ask for. But we haven’t pitched a single story, it’s all been organic. And I have no idea how to work actively with the press. For Burlington we have so many great stories to tell I think it would be a shame if some of them were lost just because I’m not good at this PR thing. So we’ll be working with 451 Marketing. Stay tuned, I’ll tell you more about that process as it unfolds.

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