Gross & Janes Introduces Tuff-Tie

Contact: Craig Workman
314-640-9033
craig@workman-company.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GROSS & JANES INTRODUCES TUFF-TIE™, THE NEW BORATE PRETREATED GREEN CROSSTIE WITH ENHANCED ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS

St. Louis, Mo., May 31, 2012 — Gross & Janes Co. has introduced its new borate pre-treated crosstie called Tuff-Tie™ to the railroad industry. This new green crosstie is treated with borate using an innovative non-pressurized process prior to drying and shipping to the customer for creosote treatment. This ‘two-step’ treatment process eliminates the cost of pressurized application of borate at the time of creosote application, while also offsetting the amount of oil-based creosote needed for tie protection.
The result is a lower-cost tie with enhanced environmental benefits including less creosote utilization and more environmentally friendly alternatives for the disposal of spent ties.
Tuff-Tie™ production is now taking place at a railroad crosstie production facility in Taylor, Arkansas, which Gross & Janes acquired in January 2012. Approximately 6 percent of the 22 million railroad ties made in North America last year were treated with borate.
Gross & Janes was an early railroad industry proponent of using borate to offset creosote utilization in the production of crossties.
“We have spent the past two decades doing in-track testing and results monitoring of borate in railroad crossties,” said Mike Pourney, President of Gross & Janes. “We have succeeded in achieving the environmental and cost benefits of the borate two-step process.”
Gross & Janes Co. is the largest independent supplier and shipper of untreated railroad crossties in North America. Founded in 1920, privately held Gross & Janes has processing facilities in Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas. The company serves Class 1 railroads and track maintenance contractors with high quality green and borate pre-treated crossties, and purchases raw material from more than 225 independent sawmills located in ten states.
For more information, visit www.grossjanes.com.

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Social Media and Accountability: Beware the Herd Mentality

Social Media and Accountability: Beware the Herd Mentality

A herd mentality has taken over our country, thanks to social media.  We all know that social media is today’s epicenter of hype, and as a result many people today get caught up in the frenzy of wanting to follow the action or be seen and heard above the din.  What is often overlooked from a PR perspective is that accountability and integrity of message can quickly get lost.  Unless you or your organization are seeking a herd at any cost, damage control usually comes next.

A few months ago, I participated in a webinar featuring several well-respected “social media experts” who had written many books on the subject. They talked about the mechanics of their process more than the content of their message. They said that their content wasn’t original, but that it came from a couple of sources and it could be expressed in as little as 140 characters. They said that they automated their tweets, didn’t respond to retweets, and had other people doing their Facebook posts for them.

I hope they don’t parent their kids this way, because I see very little accountability and even less original thought.  And as a PR professional, I can assure you I don’t counsel my clients this way.  Most CEO’s I talk to consider social media a necessary evil more than necessary.  This is because most CEOs, as well as the companies they run, rely on original thoughts, accuracy and carefully crafted communications that persuade other thought leaders and decision makers.   CEOs HATE damage control.

There are a lot of empty suits posing as social media experts today.  They can create the herds and generate buzz, sure enough, but they cannot control the message once it leaves their airspace.  Indeed, they leave the room when damage control takes over.

The remedy to social media campaign accountability is this:  keep the content simple and keep it focused only on the audience to which it means something.  Don’t try to be all things to all people…leave that to the celebrities.

The next time you hear about a new social media plan being rolled out, be sure to check out the section about accountability…if you can find it.

 

Blog

Social Media and Accountability: Beware the Herd Mentality

A herd mentality has taken over our country, thanks to social media.  We all know that social media is today’s epicenter of hype, and as a result many people today get caught up in the frenzy of wanting to follow the action or be seen and heard above the din.  What is often overlooked from a PR perspective is that accountability and integrity of message can quickly get lost.  Unless you or your organization are seeking a herd at any cost, damage control usually comes next.

A few months ago, I participated in a webinar featuring several well-respected “social media experts” who had written many books on the subject. They talked about the mechanics of their process more than the content of their message. They said that their content wasn’t original, but that it came from a couple of sources and it could be expressed in as little as 140 characters. They said that they automated their tweets, didn’t respond to retweets, and had other people doing their Facebook posts for them.

I hope they don’t parent their kids this way, because I see very little accountability and even less original thought.  And as a PR professional, I can assure you I don’t counsel my clients this way.  Most CEO’s I talk to consider social media a necessary evil more than necessary.  This is because most CEOs, as well as the companies they run, rely on original thoughts, accuracy and carefully crafted communications that persuade other thought leaders and decision makers.   CEOs HATE damage control.

There are a lot of empty suits posing as social media experts today.  They can create the herds and generate buzz, sure enough, but they cannot control the message once it leaves their airspace.  Indeed, they leave the room when damage control takes over.

The remedy to social media campaign accountability is this:  keep the content simple and keep it focused only on the audience to which it means something.  Don’t try to be all things to all people…leave that to the celebrities.

The next time you hear about a new social media plan being rolled out, be sure to check out the section about accountability…if you can find it.

 

A New Dog Learns Some Old Tricks

Today I received via snail mail a direct marketing brochure from the online PR support services firm Vocus. (For the record, this is not a shill for Vocus, although I think very highly of them.) This brochure contained all the old tricks of direct mail marketing:

  • A customized message to me that calls out, “Craig, how efficient and productive are your PR efforts?’
  • A $50 gift card from Barnes & Noble for free if I allow them to demonstrate their service offerings to me via their website;
  • A postage-paid, return postcard — customized with my name and snail address – so that I can request a demo by phone in the event I do not use the Internet.
  • A call to action (the offer expires soon, so ACT NOW!).

Vocus is an Internet-based company. They sell on-demand software to help PR people like me reach thousands of bloggers, journalists and targeted media outlets instantly via the Internet, while also helping me track any results and activities in real time.

My reaction to receiving a direct mail piece from an Internet-based business was incredulous: I thought Internet-based companies did lead generation through various online marketing activities. How ironic that this new dog was using some old marketing tricks.

But then I started thinking: where else have I noticed that traditional media is being used by Internet-based marketers and social media companies to fulfill their goals? Why of course, on television news.

Here in St. Louis, local news stations are now reporting regularly on the day’s big stories in the social media world. Just last week viewers learned that the most popular video to go viral in the history of You Tube featured KONY, a guerrilla leader telling the story of the atrocities his merry band of terrorists have dished in Central Africa over the past two decades. Perhaps You Tube utilized Vocus to publicize this fact to the traditional media.

We all know that the media world is now in a perpetual cycle of almost daily change in technology, processes and dissemination of information. Indeed, the ‘new media dogs’ are teaching the ‘old media dogs’ many new tricks. But when a sophisticated online PR service utilizes traditional direct mail to promote itself, it leads me to believe that there is still plenty of room at the marketing communications table for all dogs.

In the meantime, I am keeping my direct mail piece as a vintage collectible.