PLYMOUTH, MN: Bed and mattress brand Sleep Number is using traditional and social media outreach, including Twitter chats, to promote itself to consumers.
The brand, part of the Select Comfort Corporation, develops solutions for individual consumers' sleep problems, but that “incredibly unique and mission-driven story” hadn't been widely discussed in the past, said Gabby Nelson, director of internal and external relations at the company.
“We realized through PR and digital that we have a huge opportunity to tell that story, and those tools are so effective in helping us do that,” she said. Sleep Number will introduce a key product later this month, said Nelson, who added that the company wants to position itself as the “sleep expert” in the industry.
Nelson added that the company is highly invested in traditional PR strategies, which will be a major part of promoting the Sleep Number story. She added that although the company is very active in social media, it values press releases, satellite media tours, local media outreach, and desk-side briefings because of how well they have worked for the brand in the past.
“We also employ a lot of social tools and digital tools to further tell our story because that's an important world for us, as well,” she said. “We know a lot of consumers do research online prior to purchasing a mattress, and that's really where we get to level the playing field.”
Sleep Number has also hosted “sleep better chats” on Twitter, inviting fans to ask relevant questions about sleep issues in addition to leveraging brand advocates on Facebook and reaching out to bloggers.
Fleishman-Hillard, Sleep Number's AOR for PR for two and a half years, is pitching consumers and media outlets and managing blog outreach and social media content.
“We bring [Fleishman] in on the ground floor when we're talking strategies, so they're a strategic partner, but they are really the arms and legs in helping us tell our story,” said Nelson. “We'll develop the strategy together, but it's really Fleishman that does a lot of the execution.”
The agency has a core team of four staffers working on the account with Sleep Number's three communications employees.