Campaigns: Gore’s finer filter pulls in the leads

Client: W.L. Gore & Associates (Elkton, MD)

Client: W.L. Gore & Associates (Elkton, MD)

Client: W.L. Gore & Associates (Elkton, MD)

PR Team: Shandwick International (Baltimore)

Campaign: ’Remedia Global Launch’

Time Frame: August 1999 to January 2000

Budget: dollars 320,000

Product PR.

It’s not often you get to help the environment by practicing PR.

Shandwick International got the chance when it executed a four-nation

campaign on behalf of W.L. Gore & Associates and its Remedia D/F

Catalytic Filter System.

Gore, better known for its Gore-Tex fabric for winterwear, created an

industrial filter for plants that uses combustion processes. The filter

not only captures dioxin but destroys the highly toxic byproduct through

a chemical process.


The campaign targeted Belgium, France, Germany and Japan because of

those nations’ interest in controlling the spread of dioxin. ’We

determined up front that sales leads would be the primary measurement of

the success of the campaign,’ says Shandwick EVP Chuck Fitzgibbon.

’In many countries the regulatory limits for dioxin are getting tighter,

so there was a real window of opportunity,’ Fitzgibbon says. Shandwick,

with its international presence, was chosen because it could both

localize its efforts to each country’s product needs while maintaining

an overall message about Gore’s pre-eminence in the area of

environmental technology.


The marketing theme was ’the safest and simplest way to destroy dioxin,’

says Fitzgibbon. Summer press releases were positioned to be a buildup

to the September Paris trade show Pollutec. Preparation involved

research on each country’s market and competing products. Product

brochures, direct mail and media kits were sent to several hundred

environmental media reporters at major dailies in 10 countries (because

industry professionals read publications from countries other than their

own) including the US, as well as pollution, industrial, incineration

and waste trade publications.

’Our strategy in targeting the US was to plant the seed with key

publications that serve the industry,’ explains Fitzgibbon. These

included Pollution Engineering, Solid Waste Online, 78 members of the

Society of Environmental Journalists, 25 environmental editors at the

top dailies and 28 pollution and waste publications in the United


At Pollutec and Waste ’99, a November trade show in Tokyo, reporters

were briefed on the product and on the overall environmental threat of

dioxin. An early September academic conference in Italy, Dioxin ’99,

included a Gore-authored paper on Remedia’s scientific underpinnings,

further increasing the buzz being generated for the rollout.

Media materials were produced in German, French, Japanese and


Fitzgibbon says every release sent and contacts made at Pollutech were

followed up intensely and repeatedly until January. ’It’s a product that

required quite a bit of explaining. We had to be a market educator as



Shandwick obtained more than a million impressions in Japan alone and

another million in the other three nations and the US combined,

primarily in trade publications. Included were Japan’s Business and

Technology Daily News, European Chemical News, France’s Air Plus and

Belgium’s Technisch Management.

But the key aspect of the campaign was the leads: 56 in France, 17 in

Belgium, 24 in Germany and 100 in Japan. And the icing on the cake was

that the ’soft launch’ in the United States generated a whopping 152


’One of the things the campaign did for us is that it gave us an

opportunity to get at the local government officials and gain some

public awareness as well,’ remarks Barbara Conrad, a marketing

communications specialist for Gore.


Conrad says that Shandwick will continue to push Remedia this year but

that Gore has yet to determine whether any new markets will be


David E. Rovella.

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