PR is a component of marketing, but also can serve a valuable sales function.
Faced with a limited budget for the launch of his Lil' Dipper line of infant skin products, Two Square Meters founder Adam Agensky worked with Forty Weeks, an expert on marketing to new/ expectant parents, on a push that used media outreach to not just build brand awareness, but as a replacement for a traditional sales staff.
Rather than target traditional parenting publications, Forty Weeks founder Julia Beck realized Lil' Dipper needed first to differentiate its brand. "We focused on 'celebrity seeding' because a lot of the media Adam wanted to get required a celebrity component," she explains. Working with her LA office, Beck was able to get Lil' Dipper samples to Hollywood moms, including Reese Witherspoon, Brooke Shields, Angelina Jolie, and Gwen Stefani.
Once Lil' Dipper had its star supporters, Beck began pitching showbiz lifestyle outlets. "With most of these editors, you have to validate your product is being used, either with a picture or a request form from a stylist," she says. "But after a while, they'll take you at your word." The flurry of celebrity-themed coverage then helped get Lil' Dipper products reviewed by traditional parenting publications.
Lil' Dipper generated coverage by Us Weekly, Life & Style, and Inside TV, as well as Bundle, Fit Pregnancy, and Child. More important, Agensky says: "We went from a small handful of accounts to availability in upward of 80 doors nationwide. PR successes also garnered interest from retailers in Canada and Norway."
Two Square Meters continues to work with Forty Weeks. Agensky notes, "Even now that we have begun to slowly utilize sales reps, they rely heavily on press coverage."
PR team: Two Square Meters (New York) and Forty Weeks (Potomac, MD)
Campaign: Lil' Dipper Launch
Duration: November 2005 to April 2006