With diverse brands, from Gaggenau's high-end appeal to Thermador's foodie demographic, journalists often call her with multiple questions.
“It makes each day interesting,” says Hale, corporate communications manager in North America for BSH. “I'm kind of a one-stop shop. If [journalists] need a story with four different angles on the topic of how to design your kitchen, I can give those four different stories in one call.”
Along with her work on the quartet of brands, her responsibilities also call on Marni to “establish and maintain relations” with the BSH headquarters in Munich, Germany, in addition to the Robert Bosch Corporation and the Siemens Corporation.
What interests Hale about her career in communications is “the different people you meet and interact with and all the relationships you build [in PR], specifically the creativity of being able to develop stories from anything.”
Whether plucking out a green angle on an already eco-efficient Bosch brand or showcasing Thermador with a cookoff between well-known chefs, Hale's focus is taking brand stories to media and consumers in a way that connects, from the trade show floor to targeted media pitches.
This focus was sharpened at Mercedes-Benz USA, where she led PR for 13 Western states and built buzz on sponsorships, like Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and Night at the Net.
Heather Kotiranta, marketing communications manager of Mercedes-Benz of Laguna Niguel, a colleague when Hale worked for the automaker, remembers Hale as frequently knowing how and when to leverage the brand to media, build on celebrity sponsorships and loan-outs.
“She has the gusto and foresight to think ahead [about] what will get... more [coverage],” Kotiranta says. “Marni's the kind of person who learns German because she works for a German company.”
Roberta Silverman, VP of The Rogers Group, AOR for the Bosch and Thermador brands, echoes this praise. Silverman has worked with Hale for nearly three years.
In that time, the landscape of consumer PR has changed, with the expectations of digital media and the blogosphere becoming more aligned with brand strategies, such as special events and launches.
In line with these new expectations, Hale recently oversaw, with the assistance of The Rogers Group, the launch of a YouTube channel titled Appliance Spy, in which a Bosch and Thermador “insider” spotlights home brand appliance news. She expects 2009 to be “huge” in terms of interactive outreach.
In addition, Hale, herself, started “taking a more active role” as a brand spokesperson at media events, according to Silverman. “[Hale] sets a really great example,” she notes. “She shows up for an event [having] memorized her talking points. She takes it very seriously and is a pleasure to work with.”
Corporate comms manager, BSH, Huntington Beach, CA
August 2002-June 2005
PR specialist, Mercedes-Benz USA, Costa Mesa, CA