Sometimes the world of marketing and communications can feel small. This week it got a little smaller.
Pam Edstrom, one of the original partners of WE Communications and often credited with being the inventor of tech PR passed away this week.
Pam’s contributions to the technology industry and marketing communications are everywhere. At CMD, where I work after 14 years working with Pam, we follow much of her guidance like never have more than three points in any message and her seven rules for strategic thinking.
In 1996, I was on my first press tour, trying to get tech journalists excited about a new secret Microsoft project code named Stimpy, later called Microsoft Outlook. This was supposed to be a tech journalist tour meeting with PC Magazine, Byte, ComputerWorld, etc. At the last moment we added the New York Times to the list – a pretty big deal for a 24 year-old fairly new to PR.
Pam knew I was nervous about this meeting. She took extra time briefing me on not just the journalists I would be meeting with, but what it would be like walking into the Times.
The night before the big meeting I showed up to my hotel room to find a couple of bottles of beer, a plate of cookies and a simple note from Pam with a version of one of her favorite sayings “It’s just PR, not the ER.”
Six current CMD employees worked with Pam at Waggener Edstrom, now WE Communications, but that pales to her contributions throughout the industry. Today, the top communication leaders at companies like Nike, Starbucks, Microsoft, Dell, Alienware, Apple, Intel, Verizon, AMD, SAP, T-Mobile and many more are all former disciples of Pam.
Pam defined tech PR, made the Northwest a premier source of marketing talent and helped launch and grow dozens of brands. Her influence is felt at agencies like CMD, Wieden + Kennedy and Edelman everyday. And anytime anyone transposes letters in their email sign-off (Great, Thanks!), I’ll think of Pam.