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PR Company Case Study – Farmer’s Fridge Launch: Breaking the Fast Food Mold

Chicago PR Company Paramount Public Relations Client Case Study – Farmer’s Fridge Launch

PR SUMMARY

Breaking the Mold on Fast Food

Vending kiosks dispensing restaurant-quality salads and snacks made fresh each morning was virtually unheard of before Farmer’s Fridge debuted, making headlines not only in the United States but also across the globe in countries such as Brazil, France, Spain, Italy and the UK. The Chicago-based company’s mission was to create healthy salads, soups and snacks easily accessible through completely independent and technologically advanced vending kiosks. Placed in high-traffic areas, Farmer’s Fridge’s kiosks targeted anyone who wanted to make a healthier on-the-go meal choice. The PR company recommended a campaign that leveraged their environmentally conscious, unique mason-jar salad packaging as well their donation of day-old salads to a local Chicago food pantry.

Since Farmer’s Fridge was a start-up company with a very limited budget, Paramount Public Relations leveraged media relations to the fullest. The public relations launch of Farmer’s Fridge garnered over 2 billion media impressions, sparked global discussion and challenged the concept of “fast food” today as we know it.

RESEARCH

Vending Kiosk vs. Vending Machine

While traveling for his previous job, the founder and CEO of Farmer’s Fridge, realized that healthy eating on-the-go came with a tradeoff. At highway rest areas and common fast food establishments, it was nearly impossible to find healthy, fresh options. While traditional vending machines were commonly associated with candy bars and quarters, Farmer’s Fridge’s refrigerated high-tech, touch-screen and credit-card-only kiosk seemed to fall in its own category.

One of the PR company’s main strategies was appropriately positioning Farmer’s Fridge in both the consumer and vending industry. It was important to differentiate Farmer’s Fridge from traditional vending machines without offending other players in the industry. The program strategically avoided the vending machine stigma altogether by positioning Farmer’s Fridge as a vending “kiosk.”

PR COMPANY PLANNING

The objective was to successfully launch a targeted public relations campaign for Farmer’s Fridge and the goals included:

  • Introduce Farmer’s Fridge to business and consumer and trade media
  • Generate coverage of Farmer’s Fridge in key media outlets
  • Drive traffic to Farmer’s Fridge kiosks
  • Position Farmer’s Fridge as the newest innovation in the vending machines—natural, healthy, fresh food easily available to the health-conscious consumer
  • Differentiate Farmer’s Fridge from other innovative vending machines
  • Leverage the founder as an innovator and industry leader

Farmer’s Fridge target audience included key health, food and trade media, consumers, business partners and health enthusiasts.

STRATEGY AND EXECUTION

Catering & Media Drops

In addition to the kiosk locations, Farmer’s Fridge also offered catering across the Chicagoland area to local businesses. Before the official launch, the team targeted mid-size companies in the Chicago Loop that were not only located near the kiosk but also corporations that could potentially become catering customers. Not only did this help test the product but also grew organic, local buzz around the concept, especially on social media. After the catering initiative, the PR team then moved on to media drops at top Chicago media outlets.

Leveraging Competitors, TV Segments and Trend Stories

For the official launch of Famer’s Fridge, Paramount Public Relations distributed the launch press release over PR Newswire and to comprehensive, targeted media lists that included both local and national media. Some additional tactics included:

  • Identifying other vending “outliers” across the globe to align with Farmer’s Fridge, including caviar, champagne and makeup vending machines to include in a national trend story. Coverage included Good Morning America, San Francisco Chronicle and more.
  • Pitching a healthy eating television segment tied to the New Year, which resulted in a WGN-TV
  • Leveraging the popularity of the Mason jar salad trends seen on Pinterest and other websites to position Farmer’s Fridge as trend-forward.
  • Monitoring timely news for any relevant angles and competitor coverage.

PR EVALUATION

Local & National Media Attention

Paramount Public Relations secured media placements in the following media outlets: NBC Nightly News, CNN, SHAPE, Fox Business News, Chicago Grid, The Huffington Post, Good Morning America, Progressive Grocer, Huffington Post, BusinessWeek, Food Network, The Daily Meal, WMAQ-TV, Yahoo! Small Business, Vending Times, Entrepreneur, MSNBC, WCIU-TV, CNET, The Daily Mail, Crain’s Chicago Business, Examiner, WGN-TV, Daily Candy, PureWOW, Well and Good and many more.

Closing

The public relations efforts for the launch of Farmer’s Fridge garnered more than 2 billion impressions with a very limited budget.

ABOUT PARAMOUNT PUBLIC RELATIONS

Founded in 2003, Paramount Public Relations is a full-service public relations and marketing agency in Chicago that offers big-agency expertise with a boutique, entrepreneurial mindset. With every campaign, the firm makes it their goal to solve communications challenges, build brand identity and create visibility in the competitive media marketplace. The agency’s programs aggressively and creatively push client’s position to key audiences—consumers, employees, industry peers, analysts and, of course, national and local media—and they demonstrate a profound understanding of how to work with these audiences and gatekeepers. Above all, Paramount Public Relations works hard and measure their performance by the results. For more information, please visit www.paramountpr.com, call 312-544-4190 or email info@paramountpr.com.

GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team Case Study – Chicago Public Relations Agency

Chicago Public Relations Agency Paramount Public Relations Client Case Study

THE CLIENT:

The GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team is a six-plane squadron of vintage WWII aircraft that performs at 15 U.S. air shows annually.

THE ASK:

The GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team wanted to generate national and local media coverage to increase brand awareness and reach their target audiences – consumers and potential and existing GEICO customers.

THE CAMPAIGN:

To achieve the program objectives, Paramount Public Relations executed a national and 15 market local media relations campaign.

The PR team leveraged its media relationships and invited top-tier press outlets for an exclusive media ride with the WWII airplane squadron to experience a unique formation flight.  The results included photo and article coverage – often front-page – and numerous television segments. To further increase the exposure, the team leveraged GoPro cameras to capture in-flight video footage with strong visual brand coverage to accompany the reporter’s story or TV segment.

When broadcast TV reporters were unable to conduct a media ride, we coordinated LIVE and taped television segments from the airshow to broaden the consumer reach. To ensure the key brand messages were delivered, we crafted key messaging and media trained the client spokesperson(s) to communicate the messages during all press interviews.

In addition to media coverage and to increase target audience reach and reinforce the brand, Paramount Public Relations coordinated autograph signings with the team’s pilots for interaction with consumers and fans.

THE RESULTS:

The campaign resulted in more than 1 billion impressions. National media coverage included FOX News Channel, ABC News, among others and ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX TV affiliates in media markets such as New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C./Baltimore, Cleveland, Miami, Tampa, Orlando and more.  Additional coverage included the top local market daily newspapers/online sites such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Virginian Pilot, Orlando Sentinel, Newsday, among others.

In the 15 markets the GEICO Skytypers performed in, the team earned more than 50% of the share of voice among media when compared to the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds performance teams.

ABOUT THE GEICO SKYTYPERS:

The GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team, the leading vintage airshow performance squadron, fly six WWII SNJ aircraft, the North American SNJ built for the Navy, the Air Forces T-6 variant. Both trainer aircraft were used to prepare pilots of “The Greatest Generation” for WWII combat. The team performs a low-level, precision-flying demonstration featuring tactics and maneuvers designed by team members who served in the United States military. In addition to their air show performances, the team “skytype” giant messages in the sky. Five aircraft fly in a line-abreast formation to produce 1,000-foot tall messages that can be seen for 15 miles in any direction. For more information, please visit www.geicoskytypers.com.

ABOUT PARAMOUNT PUBLIC RELATIONS:

Founded in 2003, Paramount Public Relations is a full-service public relations and marketing agency in Chicago that offers big-agency expertise with a boutique, entrepreneurial mindset. With every campaign, the firm makes it their goal to solve communications challenges, build brand identity and create visibility in the competitive media marketplace. The agency’s programs aggressively and creatively push client’s position to key audiences—consumers, employees, industry peers, analysts and, of course, national and local media—and they demonstrate a profound understanding of how to work with these audiences and gatekeepers. Above all, Paramount Public Relations works hard and measure their performance by the results. For more information, please visit www.paramountpr.com, call 312-544-4190 or email info@paramountpr.com.

Public Relations and Consumers: TikTok’s Rise During 2020 and Quarantine

The most downloaded app of 2020? TikTok of course. Its rise in popularity began in 2019, but with the onslaught of COVID-19 and most of the world in lockdown in the spring of 2020, downloads spiked and millions of users turned to the app to avoid boredom. From learning dances, to sharing funny skits and learning life hacks or new recipes, TikTok provided users, mostly Gen Z and Millennials, with an escape from the uncertainty of the year. With its popularity amongst consumers firmly secured, public relations professionals have now turned to the platform to setup brand accounts pushing content and launch campaigns with influencers on the app as well. Will TikTok rival Instagram? Time will tell, but the diversity of content on the app shows that there is a corner of TikTok for everyone and endless possibilities for PR professionals to utilize the app. Some of the biggest trends on TikTok in 2020 included:

  • Dances like the “Renegade”
  • Funky recipes such as whipped coffee and pancake cereal
  • Influencer campaigns to boost PR launched by companies from Walmart to Prada
  • Content that not only helped keep people connected during a challenging and lonely year, but kept them laughing too

One campaign, fit for the year, was launched by Lysol called #HealthyHabit6Step. The campaign incorporated the popularity of TikTok dances into the concept of the campaign, having users dancing and demonstrating six healthy habits to keep themselves and others safe in the pandemic, all to the beat of a song. While influencers have gotten more and more creative on Instagram over the year, TikTok presents content creators and the public relations industry with even more opportunities to think outside of the box and create fresh and unique content. Instagram Vs. TikTok? Time will tell.

For a closer look at TikTok’s impact in 2020, click here.

Heinz is Taking a Special Interest in Chicagoans

America’s favorite ketchup company may have its feelings hurt over Chicagoans refusing to put the delicious condiment on their hot dogs. Whether you’re from Chicago or not, it’s no secret that according to Chicagoans ketchup just doesn’t belong on hot dogs. We love our all beef dog on a poppy seed bun with all the fixens of chopped white onions, pickled sport peppers, one large pickle spear, dash of celery salt, sweet pickle relish, tomato slices and mustard. Ketchup? No, thank you.

chicago dog

Heinz thinks it may have a more inclusive solution to incorporate a tomato based condiment for Chicago dogs. It is being very careful not to refer to this sauce as ketchup, but rather “Chicago Dog Sauce.” In honor of National Hot Dog Day, one of the many days dedicated to delicious food that the world has adopted within the past years (see post here about World Chocolate Day), Heinz went to Chicago hot dog shops and provided them with the new Chicago Dog Sauce. The locals’ reactions were positive until they found out what was really in the Chicago Dog Sauce. Watch the ad below to see how Heinz’s Chicago Dog Sauce experiment really went.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtDikj2BeSk

Just When You Thought Ice-T Couldn’t Get Any Cooler

Ice t ice

Who doesn’t love Ice-T? And to be clear I am talking about the rapper turned actor turned loving husband and father, not the delicious and refreshing beverage (which I also love). Whether you listen to his music or you watched him on Law & Order: SVU, everybody knows and loves Ice-T. He has a down to earth personality and a cool vibe about him. In this interesting article by AdWeek, Ice-T just got cooler by partnering with Sonic.

After 6,000 years of human civilization, it’s come to this: A finely detailed, life-sized ice sculpture of rapper/actor Ice-T will slowly melt, drip-drip-drip, during a live internet event. When its microphone falls the to floor, it will make winners of some lucky Sonic Drive-In fans.

Goodby Silverstein & Partners came up with the chill stunt, which will stream Tuesday on Facebook at 1 p.m. ET. The sculpture, made by David Fong of Ice Illusions in Santa Clara, Calif., will be holding a real mic, and once it drops, the first 100 users to comment will receive a limited-edition Ice-T T-shirt that changes color when frozen.

Read more by visiting AdWeek!

Is Kik Replacing Snapchat?

Social media comes in many different shapes and sizes. From Facebook to Snapchat to Pinterest to Kik, there are a variety of ways for us to stay in touch with our friends and favorite celebrities every day. Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest are widely known by many, but what is Kik?

I’m sure many of us have heard the phrase, “You got a kik?” but what is it really. Kik Messenger is an instant messaging mobile app available for Android, iPhones and Windows Phone operating systems. Through Wi-Fi, you can send and receive messages, videos, sketches and other content with any of your friends that have the app and register a username. Sounds a little bit like Snapchat with similar capabilities and a focus on anonymity. Kik made its debut in 2010, but why did it get lost in the shadow of Snapchat?

kik

Ad Week recently published an article about Dunkin’ Donuts’ interesting marketing move involving Kik. On National Donut Day this year, Dunkin’ Donuts will create and sponsor the first branded face filter on Kik. This face filter will be in addition to the filter they will be creating for Snapchat. While Snapchat face filters have become increasingly popular in recent years, this is the first time a major corporation will be paying for a filter on Kik.

dunkin

Dunkin’ Donuts could be onto something here. Kik is making its first major comeback in the always evolving world of social media. Will other major corporations follow in Dunkin’ Donuts’ footsteps and create and sponsor face filters for Kik? Or is this going to prove to be a complete waste of money for the coffee and donut company America runs on?

Make sure to grab a donut for National Donut Day!

For more reading, visit Ad Week.

 

Parallax News’ Daily Brief Offers Three Viewpoints on Top Debates

parallax-news

Parallax News is a daily email brief that breaks major debates down into multiple perspectives. Each brief shows multiple viewpoints from politicians and experts – ranging from the left, right, center, or otherwise – in one place. This allows readers to better make up their own mind on issues. Parallax explains controversial topics in areas such as the 2016 Presidential Election, national security, emerging tech and the environment.

Recent briefs have looked at: Why Is Trump Saying the Election Is Rigged?/ What Does Donald Trump’s Tax Leak Mean?/ Does Hillary’s Child Tax Credit Make Sense?/ Will the Debates Swing the Election?/ Should the U.S. Retaliate Against Russia?/ Is Wikileaks Good for Democracy?

h-clinton

America is more polarized today than at any time “in the last two decades.” Recent events such as allegations of the Facebook trending bias, concerns of algorithm bias, and the stark political divide of the 2016 election are a few examples. As America relies more and more on digital media for their news, Parallax aims to fight against political polarization by showing conflicting perspectives in one place.

“We created Parallax to expose readers to viewpoints they wouldn’t normally see, and probably don’t agree with. This can lead to constructive debate and a more nuanced understanding of society, regardless of your political beliefs,” says Michael P. Daley, CEO & Publisher of Parallax News. “The idea behind our multi-perspective approach is that we feel like digital polarization and the so-called ‘filter bubble’ are big dangers to intelligent content and politics. The 2016 Election has been living proof that Americans are not having a cohesive argument.”

“This doesn’t mean that everybody needs to all of a sudden agree with one another,” Daley says that he does not expect that to happen any time soon. “But it’s pretty hard to achieve any progress if citizens are living in completely different political realities. That doesn’t only affect marquee issues like immigration, but also other crucial topics like infrastructure and education. Exposure to multiple perspectives is a healthier way to read about the world.”

Parallax News offers a free daily email brief, Monday-Friday, with the day’s top debate broken down into multiple perspectives. To subscribe to Parallax News daily emails, visit: http://subscribe.parallax.news/

Parallax is on Facebook , Twitter , and Medium as well.

ABOUT PARALLAX NEWS

Parallax News is an e-newsletter that delivers short daily explainers about major issues in policy and culture to your email from three different perspectives. Parallax News offers three, 100-word viewpoint paragraphs to engage readers across all political and cultural standings. For more information please visit Parallax News on Facebook, Twitter, and Medium.

2015: A Year in Review

2015

The holidays are upon us and here at Paramount Public Relations we would like you wish you and your families a happy holiday and joyous New Year. As 2015 comes to a close, it comes time to reflect on the year that has now passed noting the most memorable moments. We decided to share with you 10 of the most memorable news stories from the past year.

  1. “The Dress” Phenomenon: Early in the year, a photo of a dress surfaced on social media and there was one major question: was the dress blue and black or was it white and gold? Society weighed in on the debate, making the picture one of the most shared items on social media. While it was confirmed that the dress was indeed both blue and black and white and gold, the light reflecting off the dress influenced the color.
  2. Same-Sex Marriage Legalized: On June 26, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the marriage of same-sex couples in the U.S. was legal in all 50 states and U.S. territories. In the history changing 5-4 ruling, the country joined 21 other countries to legalize same-sex marriage.
  3. Blackhawks Win Stanley Cup: For the 3rd time in the past 6 years, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. Being based in Chicago, here at Paramount Public Relations we were very excited about this achievement. Defeating the Tampa Bay Lighting, the Hawks brought home the title with a 2-0 win on June 13 to win the 6 game series.
  4. Left Shark Stole the Show: The football players on the field usually draw the crowds for the Super Bowl but this year the halftime show had everyone talking. During Katy Perry’s performance, dancers dressed in shark costumes stole the show and became a viral meme sensation. The Patriots may have won, but Left Shark is who the fans remembered.
  5. I Am Cait”: In June, Caitlin Jenner told the world her story as the cover model of Vanity Fair magazine and reached 1 million Twitter followers in a record breaking 4 hours and 3 minutes. Caitlyn’s original fame happened when “Bruce” Jenner, won an Olympic gold medal for the triathlon. Now she has added another award to her list, the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.
  6. A New Princess: On May 2, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed their second child. Their daughter, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, is fourth in line for the British throne after her grandfather Prince Charles, Father Prince William and older brother Prince George.
  7. FIFA World Cup: The women’s FIFA World Cup was held in Canada from June 6-July 5. It all came down to the final match-up, The United States vs. Canada. The game ended with a 5-2 U.S. victory. Winning for the first time in 16 years, the U.S. ended the drought and brought home the victory.
  8. Pope Francis: Making his first trip to the U.S., Pope Francis visited 3 cities: Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia. Giving numerous masses, meeting with world leaders and speaking in front of the Senate, House of Representatives and the United Nations, the Pope spread his message on U.S. ground.
  9. #PrayForParis: On November 13, terror struck the city of Paris as gunmen and suicide bombers hit a concert hall, soccer game and restaurants simultaneously. Events of the night left 130 dead and hundreds wounded. The world was instantly saddened by this horrible event and publicly displayed their grievances and support for Paris creating the hashtag #PrayForParis, while major cities shined French colors on national monuments.
  10. Water on Mars: NASA has confirmed that they found liquid water on Mars. Using advanced digital imaging they concluded that certain slopes and seasonal dark streaks are highly correlated with the presence of water on the planet. The news has created an exciting buzz because even if the water is very salty, it could still represent the presence of life on the planet.

Zuckerburg to Donate 99% of Facebook Stock

Zuckerburg Blog

For Silicon Valley’s newest generation of billionaires, the biggest trend in innovation is actually something old – giving back. As someone who is no stranger to innovation, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg is at the forefront of the movement. The 31 year old with a net worth of $37.5 billion announced on Tuesday that he and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, will donate 99 percent of their Facebook stock shares throughout the course of their lives. The stocks are currently worth more than $45 billion and will be donated to charitable causes still to be announced, or even still to be created.

According to a recent New York Times article, Zuckerberg’s charitable plans are the latest indication of a growing interest in philanthropy among Silicon Valley’s young billionaires, who unlike previous generations of business tycoons, appear eager to spread their wealth while they are still young.

Zuckerburg and Chan have a new baby girl, Max, who was born just last week. The couple says the pledge to donate the stocks is all about making the world a better place for her generation and those to follow. Publishing an open letter to her, they explain the better life they wish for her to have. The letter explains that they are making the donation because they wish to help advance human potential, promote equality and help create technology to foster change for the future.

“Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges,” writes Zuckerburg. “I will continue to serve as Facebook’s CEO for many, many years to come, but these issues are too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work.”

Many industry leaders are showing support for the donation and aim for change including one of Zuckerburg’s childhood heroes and the wealthiest man in the world, Bill Gates. Mr. Gates and his wife congratulated his efforts releasing a statement.

“The example you’re setting today is an inspiration to us and the world,” they said. “We can be confident of this: Max and every child born today will grow up in a world that is better than the one we know now. As you say, ‘Seeds planted now will grow.’ Your work will bear fruit for many decades to come.”

Zuckerburg believes that by creating and building new, innovative technology will help drive changes to improve education worldwide. The improved technology would then increase literacy rates and decrease poverty levels in these areas.

To learn more read the full New York Times story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/02/technology/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-charity.html?_r=0

Oct. 21, 2015: Brands That Leveraged #BacktotheFutureDay

BttF Day Blog

Last Wednesday marked the day Marty McFly went to the future in the 1980’s movie, “Back to the Future,” and brands didn’t skip a beat aligning themselves with the cult classic. Fortune took an in-depth look at how brands like Nike, Toyota and Pepsi  leveraged the day with ads connecting them to the film, while Ford and Universal created mock ads for a Flux Capacitor and Hoverboard. Lyft even added an element to their ride-sharing app called “McFly Mode.” Great Scott!

Here’s how each of these companies used Back to the Future Day to promote their brand:

  • Nike: When Marty McFly arrives in 2015 in the film, he puts on a pair if Nike sneakers that can lace themselves. Starting in January 2015 Tinker Hatfield, the original creator of the concept, said the Nike team was planning to release self-lacing shoes at some point in the year. The concept was again teased to the world this past Tuesday via a tweet. As of now, we still wait for the futuristic sneaker to become a reality.
  • Toyota: Not only does the car in the film travel through time, it is also fueled by garbage. The car company used the date to promote its new hydrogen fuel car, the Mirai, by including actors Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in the debut commercial.
  • Pepsi: The drink of choice for Michael J. Fox’s character in the film, Pepsi released limited edition bottles of the soda that were sold on Amazon. However, they may have been a little too limited. Many fans hoping to get a bottle of the Back to the Future Pepsi took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
  • Ford: In honor of Back to the Future Day, Ford created a dummy version of a flux capacitor – the essential part for time travelling in the film. The Y-shaped generator powered by a getting struck by a bolt of lightning bolt or nuclear fuel was released in a mock ad and advertised to sell at a fictional $1.21 million.
  • Universal: Unfortunately not a real product, but Universal released a mock ad for a hoverboard like the sweet ride available in Back to the Future’s version of 2015. Check out the ad here to see how Universal envisions hoverboards in 2015.
  • Lyft: The on-demand ride sharing company offered free rides for up to 15 minutes around New York City in a DeLorean, the type of car used in the film. Users simply had to press the “McFly Mode” button in the Lyft app and the DeLorean ride would arrive minutes later.

Whether a devoted fan who has waited decades for this day or just someone who wanted to take part in the Back to the Future Day festivities, brands successfully engaged audiences through strategically impactful advertising.

For more on how brands utilized the date for product placement read the full Fortune article here: http://fortune.com/2015/10/21/back-future-day-brands-twitter/