Name With The Face: Steve Kayser
Job Title: Public Relations Director
Organization: Cincom Systems, Inc.
Job Function: Cincom is a software and services company offering products designed to simplify the management of complex business processes. Steve Kayser, Cincom's PR director, relies on two major assets to tell the often complex Cincom story: Cincom's Expert Access epublication and Tom Nies, "the longest-serving CEO in the computer industry." Kayser works closely with Nies on countless thought leadership initiatives. "He's a true pioneer in the industry," says Kayser. "He's in the Smithsonian together with people like Gates and Ellison."
Expert Access is a biweekly email newsletter with 25,000 subscribers, including Cincom customers, prospects, and the public. "The last time I checked, we had subscribers in 49 countries," Kayser says. "It's pretty amazing how much gets out, mainly through word of mouth." Unlike the vast majority of B2B email newsletters, Kayser relies on humor. "I write and use cartoons to poke fun at things," he says. "One time I included an article called ‘Quantum Coding for Geeks' to see if people really read the thing. It turned out that 100 people read it within the first hour or so." But Kayser says it's not all fun and games. "We also bring in recognized experts who write valuable articles and show that Cincom is a trusted source of information on strategies, innovations, and actionable ideas for business leaders. The newsletter keeps us in front of our prospects two times a month."
In A Day's Work: "Business people crave a little humor now and then," Kayser says. Readership for Expert Access took off when he started his Shoot the Donkey series. Sporting titles such as "Shooting the Donkey and the Complex Sale, Hollywood Style," each eagerly awaited installment begins with humor, then segues into an interview or story on a relevant business topic. "Shoot the Donkey is taken from a scene in Patton where, well, Patton shoots a donkey," Kayser says. "But it shows leadership and decisive action to fulfill a mission and reveals a lot about character. I liked the metaphor."
Oddest Encounter: "I got an email from the CEO of a public company who said he always reads my Donkey articles because they are funny and also because he has a ranch in Texas with donkeys."
View From The Desk: "We have large cubes, and mine has a huge window overlooking a park."
Outside Interest: "I've won some screenwriting awards."
If Not Econtent, Then What?: "I'd be another kind of writer."