NYC Consumer PR Trends, Key Moments and Lessons Learned in 2017

The SHIFT NYC consumer PR team cooked up another strong showing in 2017, keeping our clients’ brands in the hearts and minds of consumer lifestyle and technology reporters. Against the head winds of an ever-shrinking pool of media outlets, an influx of hard news and an uncertain political climate, the team rolled up its sleeves and did what they do best: marry its knowledge of the media landscape along with data-driven insights to create PR campaigns that broke through the clutter and delivered results that matter.

Below are a few examples of the tailored strategies our consumer team used in 2017 and the value we delivered to our clients:

Char-Broil – (Re)flexing our data-driven muscles to drive media coverage & share of voice

For outdoor grilling innovator Char-Broil, the New York consumer PR team took a data-driven approach to informing our media relations program for the launch of Char-Broil’s new WiFi connected SmartChef grill. Previous efforts had focused mostly on general, mainstream consumer and trade media outlets, and while they effectively drove mass consumer awareness, we were still falling short in share of voice to category leader Weber. SHIFT used its proprietary Reflex research tool to measure its performance (and that of Weber and other competitors) across earned, paid, owned, social and search based off of over two dozen data sources. Among other findings, the monthly Reflex reports showed that Char-Broil and its top competitors were missing media opportunities in men’s lifestyle and home décor media coverage, important to reaching both the target male demographic and his significant other. The team used the Reflex reports each month to further identify gaps in our PR strategy vs. Weber and other competitors and to help us pivot as needed for month ahead. The results were a perfectly cooked combination of media coverage in targeted media outlets including PC Mag, Digital Trends, PSFK and Amazing Ribs which ultimately helped Char-Broil catapult over Weber in digital share of voice.

Slimming World – Success Sells (how success stories translated to PR wins for Slimming World)

Global weight management brand Slimming World made its U.S. debut in 2017 with help from the SHIFT NY consumer PR squad. While weight loss giants like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig have long relied upon celebrity endorsements, our approach was to let Slimming World members speak firsthand about their own successes with the weight loss program, which in turn helped make the program more relatable. To reach mass appeal in 2017, SHIFT and Slimming World leaned on a variety of member success stories to paint a clear picture as to the efficacy of the program. To help bring the member success stories to life in an engaging and shareable way, the SHIFT team developed visual stories of the members and their own weight loss journeys. These one-sheeters included pre- and post weight loss photos along with brief descriptions of that member’s specific weight challenge and they overcame it. These visual stories made the member stories pop and more relatable to media and their audiences. Through these success stories, SHIFT secured dozens of articles – many of which were feature in length – in top tier outlets including,, People Magazine, Prevention and Woman’s World. Not only did the success stories resonate with media, but also with readers/audiences. Through Google Analytics tracking, we’ve seen that these stories alone helped drive more than 1,000 new members.

MrOwl – Taking a wise approach by leveraging all of your Assets 

For upstart internet search and collaboration tool, MrOwl, the SHIFT team was charged with helping to drive awareness and adoption for the new technology and related app. With dozens of new apps being introduced to consumers and media on a weekly basis, the SHFT team knew that relying solely on app reviews to drive coverage and adoption wouldn’t cut it. Instead, the team created a multi-faceted awareness building campaign to create a more well-rounded story about the app’s many use cases, the visionaries behind it and select influencers whose followers would be more likely to share news and content related to the app. Within the first six months of our engagement, the team not only secured prime-time coverage for MrOwl in influential outlets including Techcrunch but contributed to its fast initial growth, with 7,500 daily active users and 700,000 sessions on the app.

The SHIFT NYC consumer team looks forward to using its media smarts and data-driven savvy to help its clients achieve their business and communications goals in 2018. Happy holidays!

Alan Marcus


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