What began as a law office that also did a bit of title work in rural Kansas has transformed into Tallgrass Title, a thriving title insurance agency serving three counties in Northeast Kansas.
Jake Pugh, owner of Tallgrass Title, is happy to share the long history of this successful family business. Jake’s grandfather started the law office in the 1940’s, Jake’s father joined the business in the 1980’s and Jake joined “a few years later,” in 2006.
“Title insurance wasn’t even a thing back in the 1940’s,” recalls Jake. “But the law office did dabble in probate, title work and routine real estate items.”
Jake’s father saw an emerging market in title insurance in the 1980’s and opened a title business, Wamego Title, in the back office of the law firm.
It became a successful business among the locals, but outside of the town of Wamego, no one knew about it. Fast forward to 2017 and Wamego Title wanted to grow and serve clients in the Northeast Kansas region.
Through a successful relationship as an independent agent with Alliant National Title Insurance Company, Wamego Title rebranded as Tallgrass Title.
Jake began the process by collaborating with Alliant National’s Director of Marketing Nikki Smith in conjunction with Alliant National’s partner David Hafleigh from Future Works.
Nikki and David worked closely with Jake, sharing knowledge based on market research and experience with helping other independent agents grow their title insurance businesses.
Together, they chose a regional-based name for the business: Tallgrass Title, a name that’s inspired by the area’s rolling prairie hills, valleys and rivers.
Nikki and David were extremely insightful, helping Jake with a new website, advertising and other branding material, as well as event planning for a grand re-opening under the Tallgrass Title name.
While Jake loved the rebranding efforts, one marketing practice he felt adamantly against was blogging.
He didn’t need to do such a thing, and nobody in the area would know about or seek out his blogs, and if by chance they did read his blogs, they’d be bored with the content.
Or, so he thought. Nikki was insistent that Jake needed to blog.
Jake wrote a few blogs and posted to Tallgrass Title’s website. And then, he cross-posted those blogs to the company’s social media sites and shared them via email newsletters.
They also used details from the blog to put into educational presentations. Then, he went about his business, attending networking events and being active in his community. But, something was different.
Realtors would approach him and talk about his blog. They’d ask follow-up questions, and also request topics for him to write about in future blogs. They appreciated his knowledge and wanted more blogs!
Business opportunities are growing for Tallgrass Title in the Northeast Kansas region and every day, Jake is grateful that he found Alliant National Title Insurance Company.
PR fiascos can decimate a brand and/or business.
Business leaders, and anyone representing the face of that business, must be aware of how their words and actions can impact that business.
The bottom line is: don’t be stupid. While it seems trite, those three words really get to the crux of avoiding PR nightmares.
This is Part II on how you can get local media attention for the things you likely already do on a daily basis for your business. Getting positive media attention is easier than you may think.
- When one thinks of social media influencers, who comes to mind? Is it a group of the most highly-followed social media stars with millions of followers or is it someone more approachable and relatable, with a smaller, yet immensely dedicated following? If it’s the latter, they are likely micro-influencers. Read More
- An emerging trend has entered the ecommerce marketing arena since such social media channels as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube became increasingly popular. Micro-influencers, have successfully settled in the world traditionally ruled by the Kardashians and eventually gained more value for marketers. Read More
By understanding the basics of creating a press release, knowing your local reporters and being aware of all activities taking place at your agency, you can create positive media attention for your business.
How many sports teams has your agency sponsored in the past year? Have you conducted any pancake breakfasts to support a community cause? Did you make any charitable donations? Did your employees take paid time off of work to volunteer in the community? Did any employees run a marathon or celebrate milestone anniversaries? Did any employees retire? Did you hire anyone?
Here’s how to turn these everyday occurrences into news that your community reporters will want to know and report.
And, positive media attention leads to increased awareness of your business. And that leads to more business opportunities. And those lead to business growth and increased sales. And, who wouldn’t want that?
If you are like most community businesses, you likely hire and promote people, sponsor a local school’s sports team, donate to community charities (food banks, disaster relief, cancer support groups, etc.), celebrate business and employee milestone anniversaries and have employees who have exciting extracurricular activities (marathon running, world travel, tiger-taming, etc.).
Here are four tips for turning these everyday occurrences into positive, and lucrative, media attention for your business.
Create a template for press releases. Create a general press release template, to make it efficient and easy for crafting an announcement about your company. You may want multiple templates, such as a “new hire” announcement, a “charity support” announcement, etc.
Press releases have general guidelines you should follow. Creating a template assures you’re following those guidelines without re-creating the wheel each time you make an announcement.
And, bonus! Your team at Alliant National can guide you in creating templates.
Know your local reporters and build relationships with them. Make it a point to know the editors and reporters of your local news media team.
Depending on the size of your community, this team may include a news or radio station, small community/neighborhood paper, or your area’s main publication. Get to know this team, send all press releases to them and invite them to cover your company’s special events, such as celebrations and charity fundraisers.
Send them pictures, too. Reporters love pictures.
Be mindful of opportunities. Be mindful in your daily activities by always thinking, “Is this something of interest in my community that the media would cover, and would it help portray my business in a good light, potentially creating more opportunities for my company?”
Make these practices a habit. Don’t be a “one and done” press release company. Designate a responsible and detail-oriented person on your team to manage press releases/media relations (it’s not as complicated as it sounds) for your business.
You should be sending press releases for newly-hired employees, milestone events, charitable endeavors and other newsworthy events.
One additional note: Keep in mind Alliant National can be a tremendous resource to you in getting started and staying active with your local media relations.
We’re here to help our agents grow. To schedule a digital marketing consultation, please email us