“We want to put PR at the forefront of our international expansion,” Daisy Chin-Lor, EVP and CMOof Birks & Mayors, told PRWeek. Birks & Mayors has 38 stores across Canada, and 29 stores under the Mayors brand in Florida and Georgia. In September, the company will make its first foray overseas with four stores opening in Italy, and the company is considering other international markets such as China and Dubai, according to Chin-Lor.
PR is a key part of their business strategy moving forward as its customers, particularly aspirational ones, are “holding back their discretionary income and being more cautious as to how they spend their money,” said Chin-Lor. Through positive media coverage, she added the company aims to “validate the brand's credibility. And our brand is all about trust. As we take Birks into new channels and different businesses outside Canada, we want to build our story and make those connections.”
Birks & Mayors plans to tell its story to media through its various sponsorship and partnerships. Birks & Mayors, for instance, is a sponsor of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. “That will give us a world stage for our iconic blue boxes as we will be giving 45,000 gifts to the Canadian Olympic Committee to distribute to everyone from volunteers, on up,” said Chin-Lor. “With our partnerships, our PR program has a lot to leverage.”
With the increased PR investment, Birks & Mayors has created “a new umbrella PR role.” Anny Kazanjian has joined the company as divisional VP of PR and events. She will report to Chin-Lor, and be responsible for PR as well as retail events and sponsorships in Canada as well as other markets.
Kazanjian spent the last 17 years at Chanel Canada, where she was most recently executive creative director of PR and fashion promotion. Chin-Lor hired Kazanjian in part because she was familiar with her work; Chin-Lor previously led the Chanel business in Asia Pacific. PR directors for Canada and the US will report to Kazanjian.