Lauren Nodzak: 40 Under 40 2012

PR Manager, Mars Chocolate North America

Lauren Nodzak has tasted sweet success at Mars Chocolate North America. She leads day-to-day PR and social media efforts for some of the world’s most iconic brands, including M&M’s, Twix, Milky Way, and Snickers.

In 2011, she oversaw more than 30 PR campaigns, delivering a total of nearly 1 billion media impressions. This year, she led the largest PR program in Mars’ recent history – the launch of M&M’s new "spokescandy" Ms. Brown. Nodzak helped create a campaign that generated more than 650 million media impressions, which included coverage from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN. The month-long drive included starstudded launch events, real-time TV interviews with a digital Ms. Brown, and the opening of a Museum of Chocolate Art in New York, showcasing the life story of the new character through nearly 20 pieces created in real milk chocolate.

Nodzak has played a key role in expanding Mars’ social media reach and has routinely shown how PR and social media can deliver cost-effective results. In one year, she delivered the top two ROIs on key brands.

Other highlights include setting a Guinness World Record to create a buzz around the first birthday of M&M’s Pretzel with the world’s largest piñata. Before joining Mars, she worked with Avis Budget Group, where she managed a series of high-profile media campaigns, including Budget’s 50th anniversary.

Described as "fearless yet sensible" by colleagues, Nodzak has also earned a reputation as a champion of responsible marketing.

"Lauren is the type of person that associate companies scramble to hire and the type of client agencies long to partner with," says Susan Howe, president of Weber Shandwick’s Chicago office.

"Her work ethic is unquestioned within the halls of Mars and among the many agency partners who take their cue from her stellar example," adds Howe. "Lauren is dynamic, energetic, and wise beyond her years."

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