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Chicago PR Firm – The Plan Collection Case Study

Chicago PR Firm Paramount Public Relations Client Case Study


The Plan Collection, a pioneer of online home design plans, offers more than 20,000 affordable house plans developed by the nation’s most talented architects and designers. Through the use of pre-drawn yet customizable plans, both builders and those looking to build can develop their dream homes at a lower cost.


Through media coverage, The Plan Collection wanted to reach their target audiences – consumers, potential and existing homeowners, builders, designers and architects.  The goals were to increase brand awareness, position the company as an industry leader and drive traffic to their website through direct links.  Online press coverage supported their digital marketing efforts by generating traffic and links from popular, credible media websites back to


Due to the Fall timing of the campaign, Chicago PR Firm Paramount Public Relations recommended a media relations program that focused on the following year’s home design building trend forecast and predictions.  Since the press typically covers stories towards the end of the year, the PR team wanted to get started on an industry predictions outreach program early to ensure the client would be included in these annual industry stories and reinforce their category leadership.

To leverage their spokesperson as an industry expert, the PR team secured quotes in several articles and coordinated guest blog posts.


The successful campaign generated nearly 300 million online impressions and meaningful referral traffic to The Plan Collection.

Result highlights include media coverage in U.S. News & World Report, Realty Times, HFN, House Beautiful, Yahoo Finance, Builder and Developer, among many others.


The Plan Collection offers more than 20,000 affordable house plans developed by the nation’s most talented architects and designers. Through the use of pre-drawn yet customizable plans, both builders and those looking to build can develop their dream homes at a lower cost. In addition to the wide selection of available plans, the site offers detailed how-to articles and knowledgeable customer service representatives to help visitors find swift answers to their questions. For more information, visit


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. The company has been chosen by as one of the Best PR Firms in Chicago for the fourth year in a row. For more information, please visit, call 312-544-4190 or email [email protected].

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


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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


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, call 312-544-4190 or email [email protected].

Uber vs. Lyft

We’ve all been there. You get in your car and drive to meet up with your friends for a drink or two. You tell yourself that you will have AT MOST two drinks and that you will be totally fine to drive home. But as the night goes on you’re having so much fun talking and laughing with your friends that two drinks turns into three and then four and then you know that there is absolutely no way that you can operate a moving vehicle. There are no cabs in your area and you have work at 8:00 am so you really can’t stay the night. This is probably the predicament that Garrett Camp had in mind when he founded Uber.


Garrett Camp founded Uber in San Francisco in 2009. I’m sure we have all heard of and probably used Uber, but in case you haven’t, Uber is a transportation company connected to a smartphone app. The cars come to you and drop you off at your destination and then at the end of your trip you are automatically billed through your credit card that is linked to the app.

Since 2009, Uber has been immensely successful bringing in approximately 6.5 billion dollars. Just a few years later, Logan Green and John Zimmer decided to join the market and founded Lyft. While the companies have the same basic foundation, they do have their differences. Uber is no stranger to controversy. Throughout the years, there have been various incidents of sexual harassment and just recently the CEO stepped down.



However, despite its many setbacks, it seems that Uber is still on top. Recent statistics prove that Uber’s numbers are still dramatically higher that Lyft’s. Will Lyft take over or will it always be stuck in the shadow of Uber?

Parallax News’ Daily Brief Offers Three Viewpoints on Top Debates


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?


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:

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


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.

Humana Adds Healthier Options To Taste of Chicago


What would a summer in Chicago be without outdoor music festivals, sporting events and the annual Taste of Chicago? The Taste of Chicago is the nation’s premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s dining community. Every summer since 1980, Grant Park along the city’s magnificent lakefront has been home to the world’s largest food festival.

With shifting dietary preferences and the rise in healthy eating, Humana Inc., a health and well-being company, launched Humana Healthier Choices to help festival goers find the healthiest options. This is the first year the program will take place to showcase a group of the healthiest options available at the festival.

All of the restaurants participating in the 2015 Taste of Chicago were invited to submit their menu items for consideration for the Humana Healthier Choices program. For an item to be considered, restaurants submitted nutritional details including calorie count, sodium content, saturated fat and the list of ingredients.

“By expanding Humana Healthier Choices to include vegetarian options and promoting gluten-free alternatives, we’re looking to help a greater population of Taste-goers pursue a healthy eating experience that inspires lifelong well-being,” said Charles Dow, Humana’s Regional President of Senior Products in the Great Lakes. “I encourage everyone to try these delicious, healthy foods and immerse themselves in Humana’s rewards program for a fun, active experience at the Taste of Chicago.”

Here are some of our favorite dishes that are less than 500 calories, 500 mg sodium and 4 g saturated fat. Make sure to check them out at the Taste, going on until July 12th!

  1. Watermelon Hibiscus Gazpacho – Farmer’s Fridge
    Farmer’s Fridge is a healthy kiosk concept that delivers delicious salads and snacks to customers through automated kiosks around the Chicagoland area. Known for their fresh hand-crafted salads, Farmer’s Fridge will debut a limited edition menu created exclusively for this year’s festival. The Watermelon Gazpacho is a bright, refreshing and subtly sweet dish that is finished off with a dollop of raw cashew cream for a savory contrast.
  2. Malnati Salad – Lou Malnati’s
    The oldest family name in Chicago pizza, Lou Malnati’s has a commitment to quality and using the finest and freshest ingredients. They are serving the Malnati Salad that includes romaine lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, mushrooms, Volpi salami bits and gorgonzola cheese and Sweet Vinaigrette and romano cheese.
  3. Doner Kebab – DönerMen
    DönerMen is German Imbiss (street food) that showcases grilled meats and flavor combinations from around the world. DonerMen’s Doner Kebab is a traditional Turkish dish innovated into a fresh, healthy wrap. It’s filled with vertical spit-roasted chicken, cucumber yogurt tzatziki, spicy North African harrissa red pepper sauce, fresh greens, tomato/cucumber shirazi, wild Turkish pickle, thin sliced onion and rolled in hand made Yufka flat bread.

For more information about the Taste of Chicago please visit:

Millennials and Money: Embrace the YOLO Mindset with Phroogal


Most Millennials, or people whose birth years range from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, experienced a Great Recession during a time when they were on the journey toward career development. In result, most Millennials have formed a YOLO mindset, an acronym for you only live once, on how to handle their money. Phroogal, a millennial lifestyle brand, aims to help Millennials embrace a positive YOLO financial mindset by offering advice and empowering Millennials to make better financial decisions in order to live a dream lifestyle. Phroogal strives to teach Millennials that there is no better day than today to start learning about money and making smart financial decisions.

Phroogal is embracing the positive YOLO mindset by hitting the road on a cross- country road trip to get people talking about their financial wellness. The Road to Financial Wellness tour will kick off in Portland, Maine on June 1, 2015 and wrap up in Los Angeles on June 30. The epic 10,000 mile road trip will take the Phroogal team across the country to visit 30 cities in 30 days. The Phroogal team will be hosting events at each stop along the way including financial education workshops, fairs, coffeehouse discussions and impromptu street level discussions. The Road to Financial Wellness events are aimed to start local conversations about money and turn them into a national conversation about financial well-being.

With this new financial mindset and journey underway, here are our top three favorite tips from Phroogal about being financially smart and maintaining a positive financial mindset:

  1. Envision your dream lifestyle. YOLO emphasizes today over tomorrow, but remember tomorrow is just the following day. Retirement is closer than you think as days turn into months and years into decades. So envision your dream lifestyle, prepare, and go for it!
  2. Invest in yourself. Whether you’re dreaming about backpacking around the world or driving a new sports car, it’s going to take some crucial financial planning to make that happen. If you want to have more free time then stop exchanging your time for a paycheck.
  3. Tackle Debt. There is nothing wrong with spending, but overspending leads to debt. When it comes down to it, the longer you wait, the more it costs you. Consider additional ways to make money such as side hustles or freelance work.

To learn more about Phroogal and the Road to Financial Wellness Tour Visit:

Ultimaker Unveils Newest Innovations at the 3D Printshow in New York City

There’s a lot going on at Ultimaker with recent innovations that can all been seen in-person at the 3D Printshow that is currently happening in New York City. Ultimaker, a leading 3D printer manufacturer, will be showcasing its new community platform, unveiling its new Cura Software and showcasing its highly anticipated new printer models.

Ultimaker will be showcasing the following at the 3D Printshow:

New 3D Printshow Booth. Showcasing all the latest technologies and stories from Ultimaker’s world, the booth is a snapshot of what’s happening right now in 3D printing across design and medicine. It also reveals inspiring stories of how 3D printing is dramatically changing lives, such as making prosthetics available to all. As part of this engaging exhibit is an awe-inspiring life-sized 3D printed motorcycle, lovingly created by Jonathan Brand. This translucent wonder is a real treat for the eyes – who’s ever seen a complete 3D printed motorcycle.

Jonathan Brand 3D Printed Motorcycle-Ultimaker

A new community platform. On April 16th Ultimaker will be launching their brand new community platform – redesigned from the ground up, it’s effortlessly intuitive and fun to use. A completely new experience, it allows members to actively share new ideas with Ultimaker and the rest of the community, earn badges based on their interaction, post their latest prints for all to admire, offer technical and creative support to each other directly through message boards, and well, there’s much, much, more besides too.

The new Ultimaker Family models arrive. Two hotly anticipated new models, the Ultimaker 2 Go and the Ultimaker 2 Extended, will begin shipping in the last week of April and will also be making an appearance at the 3D Printshow. These two models complete the current lineup of the Ultimaker 2 range giving customers the option of a smaller more compact printer with the Ultimaker 2 Go, great for life on the move; an industry leading desktop printer with the Ultimaker 2; or the ability to print even larger models with the Ultimaker 2 Extended.

All new Cura. We’re announcing the launch of new Cura at the New York 3D Printshow, with the actual software launch date set at July 1st. Ultimaker has rebuilt Cura, their industry leading software, from the ground up to create an even more seamless integration between hardware, software and materials. It now features new pre-settings for materials and default profiles, a very handy undo button, support structure optimization plus many other new abilities.

With all of these developments, Ultimaker is proving that it is still committed to upholding its vision of making 3D printing an inclusive experience.

You can find Ultimaker at the New York 3D Printshow on floor 2, stand A4.

For more information about Ultimaker please visit:

Fans Can Now Experience the 2015 NBA Playoffs from the Suite Life

2015 NBA PlayoffsThere are only eight days left in the regular NBA season, and basketball fans are gearing up to cheer on their favorite team in the upcoming playoffs. Every year, the Eastern and Western Conference teams compete against each other with hopes to secure the league’s winning title. This year’s teams have yet to be finalized, but the prospective teams to participate are shaping this year’s tournament to be intense and exciting. Although the season is coming to an end, fans can still attend an NBA playoff game alongside fellow supporters to celebrate their team’s talents and past year’s achievements.

Beginning April 18, SuiteHop, an online marketplace where fans can easily book luxury suites, will have suites available for basketball fans to watch games during the NBA playoffs. By purchasing private luxury suites through SuiteHop, fans are provided with amenities such as top visibility, free parking, in-suite catering, private bathrooms and more. SuiteHop’s streamlined platform allows users to directly book entire suites or individuals seats in suites with real-time availability and pricing. SuiteHop has suites available across the country at top events ranging from MLB, NBA and NFL games to concerts from leading musicians that are easy to search and buy online.

Basketball fans love the drama that comes with every game and to help heighten this year’s NBA playoff anticipation, SB Nation has highlighted some of the past year’s most memorable NBA moments that help shape the face of today’s NBA league such as when the Nets scored six points in 15.3 seconds. Which teams and players will be this year’s post-season heroes?

For more information about SuiteHop please visit their website at:

Watch the top 7 crazy NBA moments clips from SB Nation here:

Schmacon, Beef’s Answer to Bacon, Will Launch A Kickstarter Campaign on March 9, 2015

Schmacon Logo

Schmacon™, smoked and cured glazed beef slices, is launching a Kickstarter campaign March 9, 2015. Schmacon is a smoked and cured, uniquely seasoned and sweet, crispy beef product that serves as an alternative to pork bacon. The purpose of this Kickstarter campaign is not only to spread brand awareness but also to celebrate the company’s initiation into retail locations later this year.

Schmacon is a new, all-beef bacon alternative that is made from whole muscle beef. It is seasoned with a proprietary spice blend and cure recipe inspired by its Inventor Howard Bender’s deli roots. Schmacon is lower in fat, calories and sodium than traditional pork bacon. What started as just an idea over breakfast, took Howard on a three year journey to perfect the recipe and technique and to produce the new bacon alternative. It’s only fitting that Schmacon’s home is Chicago, where meat-lovers come to enjoy hotdogs, sausages and beef.

Funds from Schmacon’s Kickstarter will be used for an informative, imaginative and eye-catching packaging design to get Schmacon ready for retail sale. By donating to the Kickstarter campaign fans can receive rewards such as retail packages, sandwich parties or even a five-course Schmacon gourmet meal for four prepared by Schmacon Inventor and CIA Chef Howard Bender. Fans who sign on to support Schmacon from the beginning will receive additional early bird rewards and bonus specials.

Until now, Schmacon has been enjoyed at bacon and beef festivals and select restaurants here in Chicago. Even though Schmacon has not yet been sold in stores, the brand has gained over 11,600 fans on Facebook who are anticipating its launch in retail locations.

For more information, please visit Schmacon’s website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. to Host “Show off Your Chops” Event for 100 Foodies in Chicago this Saturday


Food enthusiasts from the Chicagoland are invited to gather together to celebrate a collective appreciation for cooking and delicious food., a website that connects travelers and local over home cooked meals, will be collaborating with local host Judy Wu, a local food writer, to host an interactive cooking part for over 100 people from 5:30 – 10:00 p.m. this Saturday, February 21, 2015 held in Chicago’s West Loop. The inspiration behind this event is to celebrate the creative and talented home chefs in Chicago with old and new friends.

The driving force behind this meal is to have all guests cook and share a favorite dish with other attendees. This cooking party aligns with’s agenda to establish a bond across communities for home-chefs everywhere. Here in Chicago, guests at the party will be cooking for each other at the event, creating a multicultural pot-luck dinner and the opportunity to taste new cuisines. To further the celebration, guests are encouraged to bring with them homemade prepackaged foods to swap with other participants. is a website that connects travelers and locals together for home-cooked meals with the intention to build more connected communities through an approachable pastime: home-cooking. Founder Jay Savsani created after his eating experiences while traveling in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Today, the website is available in more than 450 cities around the world, allowing anyone the ability to host or attend a meal by creating a free online account.

The Chicago Market, a co-op grocery store opening later this year, will also be present to speak and share their mission for Chicago.

For more information and to sign up to attend the meal, please visit: