HORSHAM, PA: NutriSystem, a provider of weight management products and services, recently hired DeVries PR as AOR following a competitive bid between five midsize firms. Sheri Keiles, VP of PR at NutriSystem, said that the agency is tasked with incorporating a message of health and wellness and value into consumer PR and digital programs.
“We are continually putting greater emphasis on our health and wellness category,” she said. “We wanted a partner with a deeper understanding of our target.”
The agency began working on national and local media relations, events, and promotions last month. It plans to implement “programs that will create more of an emotional connection with consumers,” said Lisa Pearson, EVP at DeVries.
The “tight economy” will also play a role in messaging. Keiles said DeVries will help to “dispel the myth” that it's too expensive to buy prepared food.
However, “the heart of what we're doing,” added Keiles, will be before-and-after weight-loss stories. DeVries is also working to publicize celebrity stories, like that of Marie Osmond, featured in new ads.
The before-and-after theme will also be part of a larger digital media program, “something they haven't had so far,” Pearson said.
NutriSystem's Web site includes a community of those sharing weight-loss stories, but “the next evolution in terms of social media is harnessing that and taking it out of just the NutriSystem site,” she added.
Keiles noted that the company also hopes to partner with other DeVries clients. Potential partnerships with Tupperware and water-filter systems Pur – both clients of the firm –are currently under consideration.
NutriSystem had worked with Bratskeir & Co. (now Clifford Bratskeir Public Relations) for two years, but issued an RFP in July to look for an agency with more health and wellness experience. Calls to Bratskeir were not immediately returned.