The Lesson of the Buffalo


In the early days of the Plains Indians, the buffalo was more than just a source of meat. They used the hide to make clothing and tents. The horns were made into cups, toys and spoons. Hair was used for saddle pad filler, rope and ornaments. Hooves were turned into glue. Thread was made out of the sinew or tendon. Even the brain was used for tanning the hides. Nothing was wasted.

It took a great deal of effort for the Plains Indians to be able to take down a buffalo. They were not about to do all that work and not make full use of their efforts. The same should apply to your marketing strategy.

Get the most for your effort

Take a look at your marketing efforts. You have probably spent a lot of time and money writing press releases, organizing events, creating presentations for in-services, making brochures and updating your Web site.

If each one of these is a buffalo. Ask yourself, am I using all the buffalo?

It is up to you to get the most use out of every marketing effort you create and there are alternative uses to all of your hard work. Make those efforts worth your while. Consider the alternate uses for your press releases. There are various ways they can be rearranged and reformatted to find new homes in both print and on the Internet.

For print

A press release might seem like it fulfills only one purpose of marketing but once you let it out to the news media, resist the urge to file it away and move onto your next task.

Trade show information

Trade shows and health fairs are great places to spread business news. Incorporate information from your press releases into materials you disburse at these events. The benefit to this is that you have the chance to spread your good news to potential customers and clients.

Direct mail

Direct mail marketing is one area where it is beneficial to spread business news to potential clients, customers and patients. You can reformat certain press releases to include in your direct mail pieces making the job a little easier to handle. To do this, remove the press release formatting and make it into an announcement. Add a photo or two for effect.


Integrate press releases into a flier to leave behind at sales calls and in-services. Also, put these fliers in your office or waiting area. Keep the clients and patients you have up to date with the changes and news in your business.

For the Web

Media is changing and a good marketing strategy works with the flow of change. Not against it. There are several avenues on the Internet – many of them free – that make great homes for good marketing news.

Company Web site

Add the releases to the news room section of your Web site. This will not only be useful in getting the word out about the information you are sharing but will also show that you update your site regularly. This is important to your tech savvy patients and clients.

E-mail newsletters

Convert a press release to fit your e-mail newsletter. Edit the information to make it more conversational in tone so that you can turn the release into an article more appropriate for this media.

Social Networking

If you have not created a Facebook page for your business or are not tweeting updates to your followers via your Twitter account, you really need to get on board. For Facebook you can easily create a status update including a blurb about the news release and direct people to your Web site. Similarly, you can add a link to your Web site within your tweet to direct customer traffic back to your business.

Just as the Plains Indians turned buffalo skulls into headdresses, I am sure you can come up with even more uses for your marketing efforts.

Elizabeth Mansfield

Elizabeth Mansfield is the president of Outsource Marketing Solutions. She can be reached at

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