PR Personality Profile: No Dirty Laundry

Score another ex-journalist for the PR world: Randy Radtke, formerly the editor of the Ripon (WI) Commonwealth Press, joined Alliance Laundry Systems last January. His title is "public relations specialist," which is quite the euphemism since he is specializing in numerous tasks ranging from all PR functions to writing advertising and Web marketing copy. Why did Radtke give up being the editor of his own newspaper to work for the largest commercial laundry equipment manufacturer in North America? "Doesn't everyone secretly want to join the dark side?" he says, jokingly. "This was a tremendous opportunity to showcase my talents on a bigger stage. I'm driven by challenges, and certainly this offered many. Plus, I think I reached a point professionally where I needed a change and a fresh start." And what better way to achieve a fresh start than for a product line that offers freshly washed clothing? Which leads to the inevitable question: How does one promote a line of laundry machines? "Our target markets are largely the coin-operated laundry industry and on-premises laundries, though we also produce commercial quality washers and dryers for the home," he explains. "Because on-premises encompasses so many books, there are plenty of options ranging from books covering hotels, restaurants and long-term care to schools and university, military and multi-housing developments etc. Yes, I rely on our sales force to feed story leads I can pitch to our books." So what is currently in Radtke's (pardon the pun) spin cycle? "One of the projects that's very important to me is generating a plan to help raise consumer awareness of our Speed Queen washers and dryers for the home," he says. "Our models for the home aren't flashy or offered in different colors. We need to market our strengths, which are the durable components inside the metal case." Radtke gets his PR inspiration from, of all things, marathon race training. "The training is about taking something big (26.2 miles) and breaking it down into a series of small building blocks in training," he says. "That's my course at work as well - look for the big picture, but work every day on the small things to get you there. I've done four marathons in the past two years. I love the connection of mind, body and spirit it requires and tests." Contact: Randy Radtke,

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