NEW YORK: FreshDirect has tapped MWW Group as its public relations AOR.
The agency responded to a formal RFP in May and won in the account in mid-June. Michelle Robertson, SVP and GM of the New York office, and New York-based SVP Matt Rose will lead the five-person account.
The online grocer, available only in the New York area, solicited pitches from MWW and three other undisclosed agencies, according to John Boris, FreshDirect's VP of marketing and business development. Boris declined to disclose the account amount. Previously, FreshDirect handled its PR in-house.
"We have a relatively lean marketing department, and I handle a majority of it," Boris said. "That's why we're deploying a team of experts [from MWW]."
MWW is handling consumer, b-to-b, corporate, and crisis communications, as well as working with FreshDirect's guerilla-marketing firm, 24/7 Marketing.
"The duality of our approach is to generate relevant exposure for new customer to try FreshDirect, and targeted exposure to promote seasonal items and drive the brand forward," Boris said.
One example of MWW's tactics: In response to FreshDirect's push of fresh lobsters, the PR agency is sending lobsters to radio stations.
The online grocery market has had a number of large failures, including Webvan. "The crux is FreshDirect's cautiousness in smartly scaling the business by getting it right in New York City and slowly expanding," Robertson said. "Webvan tried to dominate the US."
The media outreach will be done strategically, with a focus on customers in New York, as well as national business press, Robertson said.
Serving customers from its facility in Long Island City, FreshDirect delivers to Manhattan and locations in Queens and Brooklyn. FreshDirect touts 185,000 customers, secures over 1,500 new customers per week, and has fulfilled over 1 million orders since opening for business in September 2002.
MWW Group is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.