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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

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.

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.

lyft

 

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?

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!

Everyone’s Favorite Ad Man Makes His Big Return

He’s the man you know and love despite his questionable life choices. He’s charming, smart and witty (not to mention incredibly handsome). He’s Don Draper and he’s back. No, the popular TV drama surrounding a New York ad agency set in the 1960s is not coming out with new episodes, unfortunately. But, AT&T Audience Network will be showing all seven seasons of the critically acclaimed series starting June 12th.

 

don draper

 

AT&T Audience Network is available to the subscribers of DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-verse. Audience Network is the first network to have attained Mad Men’s off-network rights. The show is going to air commercial free with occasional marathons on Saturdays. Chris Long, the head of the network, explains that they have seen a major boost in their viewership because they are commercial free. He also said this gives viewers the opportunity to catch up on a show that they may not have seen without interruption or if you’re like me, an opportunity to re-watch one of the greatest TV shows ever created and swoon over Don Draper. In addition to Mad Men, Audience Network will also be airing Weeds after attaining the off-network rights for that show as well.

 

GROUP - Mad Men _ Season 7, Gallery - Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

GROUP – Mad Men _ Season 7, Gallery – Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

 

Tune in June 12th to watch Don Draper and all of our other favorite ad execs on AT&T Audience Network!

 

Read more on Ad Week.

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.

 

Pokémon Go, Caffeine and Data. What More Can You Need?

While playing the ever popular Pokémon Go app, there are few things you need other than caffeine and cellular data to keep your Pokémon catching adventures going. Now Pokémon Go is making it easier for you to get those necessary supplies by partnering with both Starbucks and Sprint.

sprint-and-starbucks

According to an article by Ragan’s PR Daily the popular gaming app by Niantic Labs recently announced their partnership with the beloved coffee company, Starbucks. Starbucks stores will now be labelled as PokéStops and gyms for players to stop in, grab some caffeine to recharge and continue playing their game. Not only will 7,800 Starbucks locations be turned into PokéStops, but to celebrate the partnership Starbucks has also announced a special addition Pokémon Go Frappuccino. This is a high point for fans who can now drink their favorite game-inspired frap and have fun in the new stops catching Pokémon. While announcing the partnership, Niantic Labs also leaked that there are new Pokémon being created for the game in addition to the new PokéStops.

pokemon-phone

Starbucks isn’t the only company partnering up with the hottest gaming app of the year. Sprint has also announced their partnership with Pokémon go, as well as a couple surprises of their own for the players and fans. Sprint stores across the nation will be turned into even more PokéStops for app players and offer charging stations to allow gamers to fuel up their smart phones before heading out to hit other PokéStops. Along with the PokéStops and charging stations Sprint boasts about its unlimited data plan to make sure that players of the app never run out of data, so they can “Catch ‘em all!”

pokemon

These aren’t the first large companies Pokémon Go has partnered with and they definitely won’t be the last. It seems the launch of the app over the summer was just the beginning for the revival of the Pokémon phenomenon.

Read more at: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/21901.aspx

Crisis Lessons Learned from Samsung’s Public Relations Disaster

Throughout the past few months there has been tremendous backlash against the Samsung brand due to the new Samsung Note 7 batteries exploding. Customers have been infuriated and airlines are even implementing rules against passengers taking these phones on board flights due to a fire risk. Tensions are high and Samsung has been feeling it, but they have yet to take the necessary steps to maintain complete transparency with the public and keep their stakeholders updated.

samsung-1

When facing a crisis it is important that the company assumes complete transparency with its consumers in order to maintain a good relationship through the tough times. There are several important steps which Samsung has failed to perform, and in result, is turning a crisis into a mega-crisis. According to an article from PR News, there are certain precautionary steps that must be taken by a company to resolve a crisis effectively:

  1. Be Prepared

A crisis can happen to any company, it is never expected but it is always important to be prepared. Your company should take time to identify the possible crises that could occur and come up with an action plan for each possible crisis.

  1. Establish the Facts, Apologize and Take Action

It is important to be honest about the facts of the issue right away. Holding anything back will cloud the stakeholders’ thoughts and judgements about your company. An apology should be voiced immediately to the public on behalf of your organization by the appointed spokesperson, then action to resolve the crisis should be taken right away.

samsung-2

  1. Appoint the Right Spokesperson

The face of a brand determines the public’s views and opinions of that company, especially in the midst of a crisis. It is detrimental that the right spokesperson is appointed to help with crisis management in order to diminish the effects of the crisis. However, the person who is leading the actions and response to the actual crisis should not be the appointed spokesperson who communicates with the media. The two jobs should be separate to ensure proper coverage of both.

  1. Listen and Monitor What People Are Saying

Having a social media monitoring application is extremely important in order to know what the public is saying at the time of the crisis and what their opinions are. The monitoring also allows the company to respond to the public through social media which is beneficial for maintaining transparency.

samsung-3

  1. Keep Communicating and Be Proactive

Along with the Social Media monitoring there needs to be constant communication with all stakeholders and the public. There is nothing worse than making vague statements, having the truth come out and your company getting stamped a liar. Constant communication across all platforms will help to keep the relationship and trust between the brand and consumers. Once the crisis has died down, it is important to maintain consistent communication with the public by updating them with business successes and other positive news in the company.

  1. Learn From Mistakes

As detrimental as the crisis may be to the company it is important to view it as a learning experience. The crisis will die down eventually and at that point the company and its stakeholders should talk about what worked and didn’t when dealing with the crisis to use it to better plan for any future crises that may occur.

Read more at: http://www.prnewsonline.com/samsung-maher