MEMPHIS, TN: Lawn-care company TruGreen has selected MSLGroup as its first PR AOR for the US following a competitive review.
The agency began work on the 16-month contract on September 1. It stood out from the "handful" of firms that participated in the review due to its experience with purpose-inspired branding, issues management, and community relations, said Jeff Fedorchak, VP of corporate affairs at TruGreen.
Fedorchak added that the firm had "great chemistry" with the brand’s in-house team.
MSLGroup is the first PR firm the company has worked with since it separated from parent company ServiceMaster in January, said Fedorchak.
Its goals are receiving strategic and tactical messaging support and better defining and telling the brand’s story to more effectively position it to customers and stakeholders.
More specifically, Fedorchak said MSL will help TruGreen tell its CSR and environmental-stewardship stories. He added that the brand needs to be more vocal on industry-related opportunities and challenges.
"Within this industry, like many, we have some bad actors and fly-by-nights and people who will use fertilizers and chemical products irresponsibly as long as they’re getting paid, and as the industry leader, we need to speak to those issues, as well," he explained.
Staffers in MSLGroup’s New York, Boston, and Washington, DC, offices will work on the account, said Scott Beaudoin, global practice director of corporate and brand citizenship at the firm.
"The use of chemicals and pesticides are being misrepresented, and the goal for us is to tell the [brand’s] story brilliantly so that people’s eyes are open to the positive role that TruGreen has in society," he explained.
In addition to media outreach, community relations, and issues management, MSL is working on social media strategy and support for TruGreen. The firm’s role may expand in social to include community management, said Beaudoin.
He added that the agency has a core team of as many as six staffers on the account, but that number will likely increase during consumer-launch periods or busy seasons, such as spring and fall.
"We feel that TruGreen is the right type of business that can teach other service industries and brands within delicate industries…how to do it right and in a way that will drive a lot of brand preference and appeal," explained Beaudoin.
Budget information on the account was not disclosed.
Here’s a look at TruGreen’s activity on social media: