Build-A-Bear assembles new PR strategy with Ketchum hire

The agency is handling PR, social media, and digital communications.

Build-A-Bear launched its Promise Pets line this month.
Build-A-Bear launched its Promise Pets line this month.

ST. LOUIS: Interactive stuffed animal retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop is working with Ketchum on an integrated PR approach to grow the brand in the US, Canada, and the UK.

As AOR, Ketchum is responsible for earned media, social media, and digital communications, including influencer and blogger outreach, said Diana Garza Ciarlante, head of the firm’s Atlanta office.

Ketchum, which started on the account in January after reaching out to the brand last year, is collaborating with Build-A-Bear’s social and digital team on social listening and community management, added Garza Ciarlante.

It was not immediately clear what firm previously worked with Build-A-Bear, and brand representatives were not available for comment.

Ketchum’s Atlanta and Dallas offices are leading the business, but the agency is leveraging staffers across its network, including in Canada and the UK. The core team on the account will consist of between six and 10 employees, with additional people helping as needed, said Garza Ciarlante.

Beyond driving customer transactions, the agency wants to help consumers learn about the brand and have them visit stores, she said.

Ketchum will promote Build-A-Bear’s limited edition and new product lines, such as Promise Pets, which launched this month along with a mobile app that brings the pet care experience to life for children and families. As part of the new collection, the brand is teaming up with Petfinder.com and the Petfinder Foundation to help shelter pets find homes.

With the movie The Avengers: Age of Ultron coming out in May, Ketchum will also build buzz around Build-A-Bear’s Avengers line.

In addition to Ketchum, JWT Atlanta is Build-A-Bear’s advertising agency and Universal McCann is the brand’s media firm.

The contract on the account is for one year. Budget information was not disclosed.

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