Alexia Allina: 40 Under 40 2013

PR director, Frito-Lay North America

As director of PR for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, Alexia Allina leads communications for a portfolio of top brands including Doritos, Lay’s, Tostitos, Fritos, Cheetos, and SunChips. Under her leadership, PR for these billion-dollar brands has gone from strength to strength.   Most recently, she led communications for the Lay’s brand on its Do Us a Flavor program, which invites consumers to submit ideas for new flavors for a chance to win $1 million. The effort was a huge hit and stands as the brand’s most successful campaign ever, generating 3.8 million entries and national media coverage.

Allina has also played a key role in promoting the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, helping achieve a 46% increase in coverage for the brand from 2012 to 2013. She helped establish Doritos as the premier brand at the 2012 SXSW Music Festival, smashing all pre-event projections for PR results and building on that at the 2013 event. Since she took the lead PR role on the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl program in 2010, media coverage has increased an unprecedented 74%, with the most recent effort driving visibility equivalent to about $100 million in advertising.

Beyond the big-brand campaigns, she has also established a news-driving function that operates outside traditional marketing support, including securing funding and building internal and agency team resources, which has helped achieve more than $108 million in visibility for Frito-Lay brands in its first year.

Allina’s broad impact has been huge, according to Chris Wyse, VP of public affairs at PepsiCo Americas Foods and Frito-Lay North America.

"Career success for a PR pro is measured by influence within an organization to drive an agenda and the commitment of resources by executive leadership," he explains. "Since Alexia joined Frito-Lay in 2010, budgets for brand PR have increased 28% and she is consulted daily by brand marketing teams regarding strategic directions and decisions – large and small."

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