Buffett Invests in PR Along with Big-Ticket Acquisitions

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett purchased another multimillion-dollar company to add to his holdings in mid February. Joining Buffett’s portfolio with the likes of Coca-Cola and Wells Fargo is none other than the ketchup giant H.J. Heinz Company. The $23-billion deal that swallowed the 144-year-old company is one of the largest food industry acquisitions ever.

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Buffett consistently produces above-average returns on his investments, this is a fact. However, there are plenty of investors who consistently produce bigger returns than Buffett. So what makes Buffett so much more well-known than these other investors?

Buffett has stated multiple times that he is extremely concerned with his public image, which is why he remains so admired. Most other investors prefer to keep a low profile, but by willingly stepping into the limelight, Buffett earns greater respect and trust from other investors and the public. His biography, The Snowball, is Amazon.com’s top-selling biography.

“We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.” – Warren Buffett

When Buffett was diagnosed with Stage 1 prostate cancer, he was the first to break the news to outlets, despite the adverse effect this might have on his stocks. However, by his apparent transparency with his diagnosis, Buffett effectively assured his stakeholders there was nothing to fear and even gained greater influence.

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Buffett takes extreme risks by willingly living in the public eye, his stocks can take a dive if he makes a wrong move, but likewise they could also skyrocket. These risks have definitely paid off for this investment giant as his stocks continue to enjoy high returns and a great deal of confidence from his followers.

Obviously, Buffett’s strategy paid off. However, do you think you would suggest this transparent PR to other big investors? What other transparent PR plans have worked successfully?

 

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3 Responses to Buffett Invests in PR Along with Big-Ticket Acquisitions

  1. Kelsey Pfeffer says:

    Interesting post. I don’t know much about Warren Buffett — but I do know who he is and I think that is the point of this post. Although he may not be the most skilled investor in the world he is definitely well-known. I think an investor is someone who may be a tough sell for a public relations practitioner — but with his success rate Buffett has made headlines. This plan may work with other professionals, but I would only suggest it for educated, even-tempered clients.

  2. Danielle Chavez says:

    I think Buffett definitely knows what he is doing as far as his investments go. He also has the right idea with his PR. Being more transparent increases trust in something. In this case, his stakeholders obviously appreciated his candidness.

  3. Nicole Lavella says:

    I love Warren Buffett–I think he’s a brilliant businessman and realizes the power of marketing and the value of good PR (not to mention he’s a huge philanthropist AND has fought cancer). I applaud his transparency, and would definitely suggest this strategy to other big investors. Just as Scott Pansky mentioned in his discussion on cause marketing, transparency is key in establishing a brand partnership that people see as authentic and trust–which is exactly what Buffett is doing with Heinz. Buffett has a brand; he’s known as a trustworthy investor/leader and is one of the wealthiest men in the world because of it. Pair that positive branding with Heinz–a beloved American company that has been around for ages–and you instantly have the public’s support.

    Other recognizable names (like Steve Jobs or Donald Trump) could truly benefit from using such a strategy.

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