I’m happy that FBS has been in the news last week with our Spring® acquisition and this week we’ll be sending out a press release announcing the long-term renewal of our contract with ARMLS, our largest customer, for our Flexmls® System and Spark® Platform. These are significant events in the life of our company and it’s good to tell the world our story.
That being said, I struggle with public relations. First, the process feels kind of old to me, where we craft a press release (which is hard to do in your “own voice”), put it out “on the wire,” and then conduct some interviews with reporters who try to re-tell our story from a few quotes. Understandably, the reporters and news organizations inevitably end up telling a slightly different story than we’d tell, because they are not FBS and they have different views and needs than we do. That’s not a criticism, just a fact, and why I think it’s a little weird in this day and age of self-publishing that we’re still reliant on this model.
The other challenge I have with public relations is that it’s hard to know what is “news worthy.” FBS has never been one to publish a press release every time we renew a contract and the fact is that FBS has the best renewal rate in the MLS industry, so we could publish a lot of press releases about renewals. Even though we’re incredibly grateful to all of our customers for the trust they put in us with every renewal, putting out lots of press releases about every renewal just doesn’t fit with who we are.
In this regard, I tweeted out a link the other day to a Food and Wine article about some of the great places to eat in Fargo. In talking about the underdog status of the food scene here in Fargo, Mark Bjornstad of Drekker Brewing said:
“We hear that quite a bit. It probably comes from being located in Fargo and our approach to selling beer—letting it speak for itself. But being underrated also keeps us under the radar and all the more special for the customers that have found us.”
“Letting it speak for itself,” that seems to fit FBS’s approach to public relations better than traditional press releases. That being said, as we grow as a company, I understand more than ever that we owe it to all of our employee-owners and our customers to tell our story in a meaningful way. So, we’ll likely still issue a press release now and again when the moment warrants, but I’m hopeful we’ll write here at the FBS Blog more often so we can tell our story in our own voice and let the work speak for itself a bit more.