NEW YORK: Grocery delivery service FreshDirect has brought on Kwittken as its PR agency partner to help it craft its brand narrative and raise awareness among consumers.
Six agencies competed in the review for the account, said Lisa Kolodny Johnson, VP of brand marketing and communications at FreshDirect. She explained that Kwittken won the business because of its food expertise, creativity, strategic thinking, social media capabilities, and content-generation efforts.
The agency’s crisis communications services were also attractive to FreshDirect because food businesses occasionally have recalls, Kolodny Johnson said.
Prior to Kwittken, FreshDirect worked with Philadelphia-based Braithwaite Communications. Representatives from Braithwaite were not immediately available for comment.
"We’re really hoping that Kwittken helps bring the FreshDirect story to light in new and unique ways," said Kolodny Johnson. "In the food business, there are so many different, special stories we can tell at many different times, so it’s about being on this journey of shaping the story."
Kwittken will work to engage a mix of b-to-b and b-to-c media outlets and help to position the FreshDirect executive team as thought leaders and influencers in the category.
The company handles social media in-house, but the MDC Partners firm will provide ideas and feedback to its team, said Johnson.
FreshDirect operates in greater New York, including markets in New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as Philadelphia, several counties in Pennsylvania, and New Castle, Delaware. Johnson declined to comment on whether the company is planning to expand its delivery service to other regions.
The contract will run for one year. The company did not disclose budget information.
FreshDirect named Larry Blackmon as VP of community and government affairs in July, reporting to Mike Brizel, EVP and general counsel. Blackmon previously served as deputy commissioner for community outreach in the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
MDC Partners, which owns a majority stake in Kwittken, bought a majority investment in Hunter Public Relations earlier this week.
In 2013, Kwittken posted a 10% year-over-year increase in US revenue to $6.4 million; global revenue was down 1% last year to $8.4 million.