Looking Back at the Future

Bruce Weindruch founded a fascinating company 30 years ago with a compelling concept and approach. The History Factory enables organizations – many of them blue-chip corporations — to leverage their organizations’ histories for competitive advantage. To do that, Weindruch contends, you have to start with the organization’s envisioned future and then work backwards to identify historical support.

* Converting Weindruch’s future-back approach into a story that would interest, teach, and attract new customers.
* Producing communication that was instructive and not promotional.

I proposed creating a primer on how to think about leveraging an organization’s anniversary. The target audience would be public relations professionals who typically take the lead on such an event, as well as handle CEO retirements, company museums, and other activities that require gathering historical information.

A primary channel to reach that audience was Communication World magazine. Knowing that the publication did not allow promotional articles, I by-lined an article, which converted The History Factory’s concept into a how-to feature that quoted Bruce Weindruch and noted how to supplement in-house resources with consulting services to maximize the pivotal anniversary event.

The editor of Communication World liked the article so much that he made it the magazine’s cover story. The History Factory used reprints in its marketing programs.

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