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Cuz Once Did Mossy Oak’s PR


While I was filming people hunting, giving the footage to Will and selling Mossy Oak camouflage, Toxey called me down to his office one day. For about an hour, Toxey kept telling me why Mossy Oak needed to do PR. He said, “This is the way Ben Rodgers Lee from Alabama got his turkey call company started. We want to work with the outdoor press.” Remember in those days, there weren’t many outdoor television shows. Most of the information people received in those days came from newspapers, magazines and books. If an outdoor writer made a picture of someone leaning up against a tree about to shoot a deer or a turkey, and the hunter was wearing Mossy Oak camouflage, we knew the reader would see how effective our camouflage pattern was. Then they might buy some Mossy Oak. Next Toxey said, “Cuz, I think you're the person to head up our PR program.” I replied, “I'm in, but what’s PR?” 

I began to study what a PR person was supposed to do. At that time, the only national outdoor writer organization was the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA). I joined that and the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA), and met a writer named John E. Phillips. I asked John, “What’s a PR person supposed to do?” John said, “Just help me and these other writers do our work. If you help me do my work, then I’ll help you with your work.” That advice fit me just fine. I liked to help people, and I liked to work. John and I met again at a SEOPA Conference, and he said, “Cuz, find me some folks to interview.” I lined-up Will Promos for John to write about on turkeys, and someone else I knew for John to interview on small-game hunting. I went around that conference finding people for John to interview. Even today, some of those interviews that he did way back then are still showing up in books, magazines and as web content. So, I learned how to help writers. I made getting the stories and photos they needed easy for them, and Mossy Oak started showing up in magazines, newspapers and books all over the country. Toxey says today, “We at Mossy Oak owe a great deal of our success to the outdoor press. They always have been our friends.” The outdoor press has been one very-important key to putting Mossy Oak on the map, especially in the early days when we couldn’t afford to buy very much advertising.

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, Will Primos and the Sears and Roebuck Video Camera

Toxey Haas Told Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland Mossy Oak Needed a TV Show

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