Consumer PR has unique demands and dynamics that put a premium on relationships, persistence, and creativity. SHIFT works tirelessly to keep our clients’ brands and products top of mind among top consumer-tech technology and lifestyle reporters while delivering relevant, timely content to their readers. Whether we’re securing placements for the latest outdoor grilling innovation from Char-Broil, letting tech reporters know about a new parental controlled Wi-Fi service, or launching a store for Whole Foods, helping to achieve our clients’ communications and business objectives is our year-round B2C mission.
Our consumer programs surpass “traditional” earned media outreach strategies through elements such as narrative development, consumer activations, and social media integration. We create success for our B2C clients by adding extra touches whenever possible:
- Offering a unique value proposition to incentivize event attendees: Combining product demonstrations maximizes editors’ time while providing them with ample story angles and an opportunity for trend spotting
- Providing extra-ordinary experiences: Door-to-door car service for a car brand’s latest models showcased the client’s product while enticing attendees with an enviable luxury touch
- Creating compelling displays: Playful presentations and a captivating set-up promote client brand messaging and display the Agency’s creativity
- Personalize the experience: Personal walk-throughs, tailored product demonstrations, and gift bags containing bespoke press kits demonstrate the Agency’s commitment to helping reporters get the stories they seek
SHIFT Perspectives on Consumer Public Relations
Whole Foods 365 Case Study in Consumer Public Relations
Whole Foods Market decided to introduce a completely new shopping experience in May 2016: branded 365 by Whole Foods Market. The launch was planned at a Los Angeles store as part of a larger national off-shoot grocery store strategy. As the regional AOR, SHIFT was challenged with establishing an identity for 365 by Whole Foods Market relative to its well-established parent, without a negative overall brand impact, in the highly-competitive grocery retail sector.
An initial media landscape audit revealed a pre-existing, skeptical media bias towards the 365 by Whole Foods Market brand; many questions surrounded the relationship between the new spin-off brand and the existing parent brand.
SHIFT employed various strategies up until and through the launch to re-establish the 365 brand:
- Authored a detailed messaging platform, which laid the groundwork for three additional 2016 store openings and further 2017 openings
- Conducted in-depth executive and store lead media training and wrote the brand handbook for all regional communications
- Provided top-tier media exclusives and access to company president, Jeff Turnas, for a series of desksides
- Planned and executed a NYC-based event specifically geared for media, influencer, and key stakeholders one month prior to the Los Angeles opening with participation of partners such as vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli and celebrity chef David Chang.
- Conducted preview “hard-hat tours” in L.A on-site prior to the opening with both national and top-tier regional media
The result? SHIFT secured dozens of articles at each stage of the process including New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Today Show, Bloomberg, Fortune, Buzzfeed, Business Insider, and TIME.com. Our results culminated with a piece on President Jeff Turnas and the 365 store concept in Fast Company’s Most Creative People 2016 print and online issue.
Sierra Nevada Case Study in Consumer PR
Sierra Nevada, one of the oldest and most established names in craft beer, called on SHIFT to tell the story of its second annual Beer Camp Across America (BCAA). SHIFT was asked to drive national press coverage in tandem with hyper-local press coverage for ticket sales—without siphoning coverage away from either effort.
SHIFT executed the parallel effort through a multi-pronged approach:
- Promoted each BCAA 2016 festival to drive early and high volume ticket sales
- Highlighted six limited edition product releases in the BCAA collaboration 12-pack to drive sales and expand brand awareness of the collaboration
- Educated general consumers about the quality, care, and spirit of the program
- Amplified Sierra Nevada’s leadership position in the craft beer industry
- Promoted each of the six city festivals to drive last minute ticket sales
- Highlighted the key differentiators of each city with the added challenge of overlapping festival dates and last-minute details
- Drove word-of-mouth awareness through local giveaways and promotions
SHIFT helped to drive 100% capacity ticket sales at three of the festivals, requiring BCAA to expand its capacity, through a mix of custom small group events, an invite-only media tasting in New York City (held at the locally beloved Blind Tiger), an aggressive content and social program, and a larger national media push around the series of events. SHIFT excelled in generating earned media results:
- Festival coverage from 150+ national and regional media outlets including Forbes, Imbibe, BroBible, the Orlando Sentinel, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and Seattle Post-Intelligencer
- 95 blog posts, 7 broadcast segments, and 35 social media posts on the events
- 9MM+ impressions generated from BCAA ticket giveaways
- 21 media attendees for an exclusive preview and tasting event in New York City including Complex, Men’s Health and Food and Wine
- 4 desk-side meetings with top-tier outlets in New York including a nearly 30-minute Facebook Live segment with Men’s Journal
Mohu Case Study in Consumer Technology Public Relations
Mohu is America’s no.1 over-the-air HDTV antenna provider and one of the TV industry’s biggest cord cutting advocates. Mohu’s mission is to continuously evolve consumers’ ability to watch what they want—at a cost they can afford. Mohu created AirWave, a product that not only gives open access to free Over-the-Air (OTA) content, but also integrates and organizes Over-the-Top (OTT) streaming video through a seamless all-in-one interface.
Mohu was confident that AirWave would be perceived as an industry-changing device, and wanted to further elevate its debut through a launch at CES—the ultimate consumer innovation event. However, launching at CES also meant vying for attention against TV giants such as, Netflix, Roku, Apple TV, and more.
SHIFT executed the follow strategies to maximize the potential of the event for Mohu:
- Built press momentum before CES and cultivated relationships with key reporters ahead of the conference
- Secured in-person demos with key influencers to drive reviews and retail awareness
- Focused on high domain authority sites to drive online traffic for both general ecommerce SEO and long tail brand awareness
Through a mix of aggressive pre-event outreach, trend pitching, and review opportunities, Mohu owned the CES cord cutting conversation:
- Featured in 115+ media placements—over 50% of the articles linked back to Mohu’s website
- Won four (4) awards and 17 CES “best of” media placements
- Generated headlines like “The New Cord Cutting Option Everyone’s Talking About,” “2017’s Emerging Trend Is The Marriage Of OTT And OTA,” and “10 of the Coolest Gadgets From CES 2017”
- Generated 1,657+ traffic sessions to Mohu’s website through secured coverage (75% were new visitors), which exceeded objectives by securing three times more traffic in four days than Mohu typically experiences in one month
Char-Broil Case Study in Consumer PR
When Char-Broil brought SHIFT on as their earned media AOR, the charter was a clear challenge to the team: make a serious dent in outdoor grilling share-of-voice against top competitor Weber.
Char-Broil has a serious and longstanding heritage in outdoor grilling. Yet the company had not received its fair share of credit for the innovations it continually brought to market. Through our initial research and input sessions, SHIFT helped Char-Broil weild the innovation to poke holes in the Weber armor.
SHIFT leveraged two initial product launches (the two-in-one Gas2Coal grill and the Char-Broil connected grill line) as the tent poles of the larger year-round messaging push to bring the Char-Broil innovation story to life. An aggressive reviewer program grew coverage volume while the results of an original grilling survey bolstered media relations efforts with compelling data on grilling habits. SHIFT further expanded earned media value through organic social media recommendations and paid amplification strategies.
Char-Broil not only closed the gap between Weber in earned media and overall share of voice, but overtook them for the first time. Since SHIFT has expanded its Char-Broil support to include SABER Grills, the innovation is burning stronger than ever.