Sometimes the simplest communications techniques are overlooked because they're so obvious. But sometimes they work really well. A small New England footwear company is riding a "Made in the USA" feelgood story to newfound prominence and national media coverage. The company, Straham, New Hampshire-based New England Footwear, is conducting a crowd-funding campaign that aims to raise $150,000 by Nov. 4 in advance of a planned local factory. The campaign was kickstarted by Founder and CEO Doug Clark’s clever use of the public backlash against outsourcing jobs and companies.
By zeroing in on a message of “Made in the USA” label, he’s made major media inroads and caught the eye of journalists nationwide. A quick Google search found the New England Footwear story covered on nbcnews.com, cnbc.com, muckrack.com, businessnewsonline.org, newhampshire.com, http://usbusinessexecutive.com, chinanationalnews.com, onenewspage.us, and on many aggregator sites as well.
All this for a small business that hasn't even moved production back to the United States yet from China. Last week, Clark moved his 12 employees to Stratham, with the objective being to raise money, buy equipment, and make footwear locally. He plans to employ about 200 workers in New Hampshire, move half of his production back to the U.S. from China by 2017, and eventually be completely U.S.-based.
If Clark generates as much national notice for his footwear as he and his PR partner, ElliottRand Marketing & Communications of Durham, N.H., have with the use of their "Made In The USA" angle, he should do just fine.
Follow Brian W. Kelly: @bwpkelly