MINNEAPOLIS: Red Wing Shoes has hired Carmichael Lynch Relate for PR support.
The Minneapolis-based firm will handle media relations, corporate PR, and content strategy for Red Wing’s safety footwear and global industrial work category, which make up the core of its business.
The competitive process kicked off in the fall with an RFP, followed by meetings that continued until December when the contract was signed, according to Eric Hausman, SVP, partner and retail practice chair at the agency. He’s the senior lead on the account.
"Red Wing has always been a brand we’ve had our eye on and admired from afar," Hausman explained. "When they reached out to us and others for an opportunity, we jumped at it."
Hausman declined to disclose budget details. He added Red Wing works with other PR agencies on other brands, but he declined to name them.
"As the company seeks to expand its reach and build its reputation, the internal marketing team believes public relations can be a significant contributor to its aggressive growth goals," a statement said.
Kohnstamm Communications previously handled Red Wing’s overall corporate communications and B2B PR for all industrial footwear and workwear, according to agency account director Luke Gillespie. Kohnstamm’s work for the company ended this past summer. It did not participate in the fall pitch.
Hausman said Red Wing has many storytelling opportunities because of the quality of its products, the expertise of its staff, and its history with industrial workers. For example, Red Wing created a Wall of Honor, showcasing the stories of skilled laborers (and Red Wing customers), including the cleanup crews of 9/11.
The company also has a unique business model that sells directly to consumers and their workplaces. Most recently, the company launched Red Wing for Business in the fall, a portal for safety professionals to help streamline the process for managing their footwear programs using digital and retail experiences, a statement said.
"There are lots of opportunities to work with existing large clients, to recognize and tell the story about the value Red Wing brings to the worker," Hausman noted.
Hausman added Carmichael could be involved in trade show support, new products, CSR initiatives, and store growth.
Carmichael, which is part of Interpublic Group, reported about $33 million in yearly revenue in 2017.