Marketing Challenge: Strategic Promotional Investment for the Long Haul

The Case of the Company That “Did Some PR”

VIA Technologies (Fremont, CA) was one of over a dozen companies supplying core logic chipsets to PC manufacturers. This crowded market segment was dominated by Intel with slices of market share divided among too many players. VIA had a variety of great products, but few knew of them.

Concurrent with a stepped up international sales effort and an aggressive R&D program, VIA embarked on a basic but consistent trade publicity program. An agency was hired to “do some PR.” Marketing plans were shared, a company story was written and a string of well- differentiated products were effectively publicized gaining attention in key trade media. Editorial opportunities were researched and tracked and electronics trade reporters were encouraged to interview VIA managers about industry and technology trends. Press coverage began growing. A percentage of management’s time was committed to press relations. During the first year opinion articles, written by the agency for VIA’s president and director of sales, ran in top-tier target media. People ceased asking if VIA was out of business. A very basic public relations program was in place and beginning to have an effect.





By year’s end the media attention and market impressions had increased, sales blossomed and the president acknowledged that public relations had made a clear difference in VIA’s fortunes. Media attention was maintained with the “do some PR” program and sales accelerated during the second year. The following year R&D accelerated. More great products were promoted, sold and supported. Reporters wrote about them. Market researchers tracked their growth, by the end of the second year of consistently applying its PR campaign, VIA approached $100 million in sales and arrived in the PC chipset supplier top tier. VIA’s public relations program moved beyond the basic “do some” phase to become the company’s primary promotional weapon and the company is clearly recognized as the value leader and Intel alternative.

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Ford Kanzler - Marketing/PR Savvy