Tag Archive for: consumer goods PR agency

Perhaps one of the greatest PR stories in history is about lifestyle icon Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart’s PR playbook is vast, and it’s nimble. She knows how to stay modern and adjust her PR strategies to the cultural temperature. From her early days as a model turned stockbroker turned caterer, Stewart has shown an uncanny ability to tap into our culture and even our forgiveness. Martha Stewart’s PR lessons for any consumer brand work from product promotion to thought leadership; Martha Stewart has PR lessons for every consumer product entrepreneur.

She Owns It
Martha Stewart became a consumer and lifestyle scion because she boldly suggested ambitious ideas without apology. She knows who she is and she knows when she leans into it, it captures the imagination, creates conversation, and gives her brand character.

In the early days of the insider trading accusations, the press skewered Martha Stewart for conducting interviews on a kitchen set. One journalist called it comical and said it was a bad PR move because it connected the scandal to her lifestyle image. But looking back at it, that was a fantastic choice. Martha Stewart always maintained her innocence throughout her trial and sentence. By calmly and coolly talking about the situation on her home turf, doing things she was comfortable doing, she takes the air out of the accusations and speaks straight to her fans. Stewart’s famously coy aloofness also helped. When she smiles, there’s always been this subtext that she knows more than she’s telling. That’s her superpower, and it leaves everyone hanging on for the next great recipe or design idea. Martha’s clever use of mystery is PR wielded in an expert fashion, despite over-exposure to her consumer products.

Skewered as she was, Wall Street believed in her. While she was in prison, her Martha Stewart Living (MSLO) stock jumped 70%. When Stewart emerged from her five-month jail sentence, she didn’t hide as many people would have. She went straight to the daytime talk shows and showed everyone her ankle bracelet. By the time she launches her show, a mere six months after her release, she premiers the show as “free and unfettered,” now that her ankle bracelet is gone. Throughout the entire experience, Stewart refused to be shamed, even when she was found guilty. It takes courage to pull that off, but Stewart never wavered, and it worked for her.

She Says “Yes”

There are two strategies for building a brand. The first is cool aloofness, and the second is relentless exposure. Stewart is the second. Being a caterer sounds like a sexy job but also incredible work. But Stewart kept saying yes. As a caterer, Steward contributed to The New York Times and served as the newspaper’s food and entertainment editor. Six years after launching her successful celebrity catering company, she published her first book and never stopped working. She publishes more books—99 at this writing, a monthly magazine, and pre-and post—jail time TV shows, not to mention thousands of media interviews and call-ins to everyone from Howard Stern to Sirius talk radio shows after launching her talk radio show, Martha Stewart is the hardest working woman in show business. Build success upon success; that’s this PR lesson for consumer brands.

But it’s more than that. She makes her brand work for her, instead of working for her brand. Stewart elevates accessible partners like Kmart and Walmart with affordable lifestyle merchandise without losing her aspirational panache. The Martha Stewart PR lesson for consumer brands is to create an aspirational brand and then make it accessible once the brand is established.


She’s In on The Joke

Another consumer product PR lesson is to partner wisely. At 80 years old, she partnered with Snoop Dog in ads for Bic lighters. Again, her coy presence gives it charm, while Snoop Dog gives it an edge. Their partnership created more press than the lighter itself, but I don’t think Bic minds sharing the real estate with two completely different lifestyle icons.

When Stewart was sentenced to jail, Saturday Night Live famously debuted a cold open of a topless Martha Stewart. Her response? Once she was released from prison, she was mad that her parole officer wouldn’t let her host the famously cheeky show. She’s said that one of her “big (career) regrets” is not hosting the show yet. Martha Stewart knows certain cultural touchstones resonate and lock in your place in lifestyle history – SNL is one of those, and she’s not done reaching.

Martha Stewart was always in on the joke, and that allowed her to have fun with her brand – another excellent consumer product PR lesson.

Still the “Guru of Good Taste,” Martha Stewart knows she’s not 42 anymore, but she also knows she can bust down boundaries with her timeless approach to humor.

Bazaar magazine called her the “original influencer,” the New York Times called her ageless for her “coquettish, goofy, rambunctious video ads” for Cle’ de Peau, a makeup brand, on TikTok.

Martha Stewart has been celebrated, vilified, laughed at, and skewered, but with a remarkable eye on PR, she’s turned all of that into an asset for herself. Today, Martha Stewart Living Omnicom is a publicly traded company worth billions, and she has a net worth of around $400 million. From thought leadership to consumer product scion, Martha Stewart has captured our imaginations with savvy consumer PR strategies.

CPG brands have seen a lot of success in recent years, and PR is a big part of that. But it’s important for CPG brands to set goals with their PR agencies.  Brands looking for CPG PR agencies may not know where to start or have had an unpleasant experience with a PR firm. For the best CPG PR results, we recommend starting with clear goals

Lifestyle publications are always looking for the next hottest CPG product, and PR has driven much of that awareness. Here are three goals CPG PR agencies should pursue in order to maintain that success:

  1. Increase brand awareness among key demographics

For increasing brand awareness, PR agencies should focus on key demographics. These are the groups of people that are most likely to be interested in the CPG brand’s products, and targeting them with well-crafted messaging can cause more conversions.

Work with your PR agency to identify ideal media outlets and podcasts for your target audience. Prioritize the efforts and understand that there will be some easy opportunities and there will be some larger goals to set. 

Discuss your big hairy goal with your CPG PR agency too. Understanding the ultimate definition of success – it might be acquisition or investment, for example – will help define the long-term strategy

  1. Increase conversions through targeted content marketing campaigns

Content marketing is another important tool CPG PR agencies can use to increase conversions. By creating targeted content that speaks to the interests of their target audience, CPG brands can convince more people to buy their products. And when it comes to garnering media attention, there’s no better way to achieve success than by getting featured in top lifestyle publications.

Let your PR firm help you if there isn’t enough capacity in-house to create owned content. Even if your PR firm doesn’t offer content creation services in-house, they’re guaranteed to know an entire range of outstanding media creators from blog posts to video. 

  1. Garner more media attention for successful CPG campaigns and products

Media relations is a critical service for CPG PR. Many companies think these media relation is the only service of a PR firm. That’s not true, but it is often one of the driving KPIs for brands, especially CPG brands when hiring a PR firm. 

Each of these goals is important in its own right, and pursuing them all will help CPG brands reach new heights. However, it’s important to note that they shouldn’t be pursued in isolation; the CPG PR agency should always work towards integrating all three goals into a cohesive strategy.

These goals are important for CPG brands, but someone must pursue diligently and consistently them if they’re going to be successful. The CPG PR agency should always work towards integrating all three goals into a cohesive strategy. Only then can CPG brands reach new heights and continue their success.


Read more about our CPG experience and our proud CPG case studies.  And if you’re looking for a CPG PR agency, we’re happy to talk with you about our distinctive approach to PR success.