Relationship Marketing Strategy
Helen was an internet feature I created. It was about a pretty young woman who happened to be the most dynamite techie the world had ever seen.
Marketing-wise, Helen was about putting out something good on the web that people wanted to see and trying to spread the word about it, both by myself and by means of Helen's fan base. There were a couple of ways to do this. One was creating material that was germane to the experience of the fans, mostly computer literate folks, but to do so in a way that it didn't turn off anyone else. I was uniquely qualified to do this as I was hardly a gifted techie geek and so had to teach myself everything I wrote about, and then to write about it in an emotionally involving way such that I could really be funny about it. The fact that it was funny to me was a pretty good indicator that it would be funny to techies and non-techies alike.
The next thing to do was try to find subject matter that might not only elicit reader interest but media interest. I looked up people who were being talked about in technology, people such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and to a lesser degree Pattie Maes of MIT. I made Bill Gates into a character and had him pine after Helen in a somewhat parochial way. This attracted several internet publications and eventually The New York Times, which wrote a brief but complimentary paragraph on Helen in an article on internet cartooning.
Media snowballing followed and
articles in The Cleveland Plain Dealer and HOW
Magazine happened, as well as appearances on local
Cleveland radio and TV. Eventually the word reached a publisher: McGraw-Hill
and a feature syndicate: Tribune Media. Helen
became a syndicated feature with a