FL agency to make affinity offer to companies in trade associations

FT. LAUDERDALE: Members of trade groups have long been able to take advantage of affinity programs that offer them discounts on services such as printing, travel, or even catering.

FT. LAUDERDALE: Members of trade groups have long been able to take advantage of affinity programs that offer them discounts on services such as printing, travel, or even catering.

But now one Florida agency wants to add PR to the list.

TR Cutler, a 40-person Florida agency specializing in PR for manufacturing firms, is trying to market its services through manufacturing trade associations.

Its Manufacturing PR Advantage program will offer discounts ranging from 30-40% for short-term assignments. The firm begun approaching 500 manufacturing associations across North America that offer member discounts for such things as car rentals and insurance, asking them to offer PR Advantage as a member benefit, explained Tom Cutler, president of the firm.

Associations that sign up will receive rebates of 10-20% of the fees their members pay Cutler.

The firm will offer a package called Manufacturing Media Blitz that consists of a 90-day campaign to drive traffic to a client's website and increase product and company awareness.

"Manufacturers have not always been super savvy about the need for PR. Many of these companies have never done public relations," he said. "Part of our task is to educate them about what is newsworthy."

He'll do short-term assignments at a discount because he expects to gain long-term clients from the program.

"The residual retainer accounts that will come out of this will drive income for everybody," he said.

Cutler said the program, which officially debuts in August, is the first PR affinity program for manufacturing association members.

Cedric Bess, manager of public relations at the PRSA, said he's heard of firms marketing through local chambers of commerce and similar groups, but has not heard of another agency trying to do what Cutler wants to do nationally.

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