Brazilian steel firm Gerdau recently celebrated its 110th anniversary in business and needed to get the word out. Their PR & Marketing department launched a local publicity campaign, but they needed more—specifically in the international market.
Gerdau has significant international operations in 14 countries, including North America, and it wanted to let both consumers and the business community know about its long track record in the industry. It also wanted to let the marketplace know about its rebranding as Gerdau rather than as Gerdau Ameristeel and Gerdau Macsteel.
Challenges and Opportunities
While 110 years in business is an impressive figure, anniversaries of firms aren’t typically strong news stories that outlets pick up right away. We had to define a target audience for the news and dovetail with Gerdau’s PR efforts to yield maximum impact. And while the Web gets out a message quickly and widely, we wanted to deliver impact. And print remains a high-impact tool in a well-balanced media mix.
Essentially, this was a business story—the target was investors and potential investors who knew the company, not the general market. As such, we chose major outlets to grab the attention of the target audience. To maximize the power of the message, we went with a full-page ad in each. Gerdau’s creative team offered strong messaging, including its commitment to sustainability as one of the biggest recyclers of the Americas.
Our strategy delivered outstanding impact by reaching more than 2 million people in a single day:
• 1.6 million through The Wall Street Journal in the US
• 123,000 through the Financial Times in UK
• 320,000 through The Globe and Mail in Canada
Sometimes, one broad yet targeted stroke is the best way.
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