A Case for Local Public Relations

February 28, 2012

Jon Cummins, CEO of Paramount Performance Marketing, left, and Mitt Romney tour the now defunct printing plant after the presidential campaign learned of the story in a local newspaper.

PR pros often urge clients to become “heroes” in their local communities through strategic communications and media relations. We think business reputations are born on a local level, but in today’s connected world, a local story can receive national attention or interest.

Recently, Paramount Performance Marketing of Jacksonville received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity stemming from a local story. In December, Paramount closed its doors after nearly 100 years in business leaving 25 employees without jobs. Karen Brune-Mathis of the Financial News and Daily Record wrote and ran a story about the closure in early January after she learned of the news. Not only do Daily Record stories run online to a larger audience, Karen reports that stories are occasionally picked up by The New York Times.

In the case of Paramount, however, the staff of the Mitt Romney campaign for president saw the story. The campaign was visiting Jacksonville for the CNN debate and wanted to talk about the reasons the company shut down, most of which were economic and recession related. The “event” went from a meeting with the candidate and a tour of the facility to a press and supporter event and rally the next day in the Paramount parking lot.

“I could never have imagined how bad news could turn into a good PR opportunity for us.”
— Jon Cummins, CEO Paramount Performance Marketing

Paramount CEO Jon Cummins found himself quickly in the national spotlight. He introduced the candidate for a speech about the economy and jobs. The event was carried live nationwide on the national and cable news networks. The BroadBased PR team helped Jon with his speech, his media interviews and ongoing inquiries and media attention. BroadBased PR Director Maria Coppola, APR contributed this report to The Florida-Times Union and Jacksonville.com.

Although the fate of Paramount remains the same, the exposure has resulted in a number of business opportunities for the company. A business interested in purchasing a division of Paramount will capitalize on the SEO opportunities related to the news coverage. And printing companies and equipment dealers from all over the nation have contacted Paramount about purchasing everything from its paper to its assets.

“An equipment dealer in New York has already bought one of our printing presses and is visiting the shop soon to possibly buy most of the rest of the equipment,” said Cummins. “My friends and family from all over the country saw the news and reached out to me to offer support.”


Jan Hirabayashi founded BroadBased in 1996 and is the company's CEO and lead marketing strategist.