C&W chosen to aid Lifeway's PR efforts

CHICAGO: Lifeway Foods has hired Cohn & Wolfe's Chicago office to

handle PR for its Kefir brand fermented milk beverage and to assist with

corporate PR work.



The account is expected to bill in the low six-figure range.



Lifeway, a public company with annual sales of dollars 10 million, had

worked with a boutique PR shop for 10 years, but wanted a larger firm to

help build brand recognition nationally. Danone recently took a 20%

stake in the firm, providing more money for brand development.



Lifeway selected C&W from among 30 firms contacted initially last

year.



Julie Smolyansky, director of sales and marketing with Lifeway,

explained that C&W had previous experience in the functional foods area,

had a global reach and had a registered dietician -Ann Adams - heading

its Chicago food and nutrition practice. Dietitians will be one of the

first target groups for new PR efforts.



C&W is searching for a spokesperson for the brand and is reworking the

company's Web site, said Adams. It plans outreach efforts at a

dietitians conference this fall and expects to do more corporate

communications and financial relations work next year. Lifeway has no

internal PR department.



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