Case Studies

PANERA BREAD RISES TO NATIONAL BRAND

The Challenge:
One of the biggest challenges faced by local retail/foodservice firms is to cost-effectively expand from local stores to regional and national prominence.  The challenge was to promote newly opened Panera Bread stores in local markets, and then attracting the attention of national media.

The Background:
I began working with Panera Bread when it was re-branding from the St. Louis Bread Company. CEO Ron Shaich, who helped start Au Bon Pain, had sold that company and was eager to create a new business with a fresh concept. Shaich figured if Au Bon Pain could work in cities, why not offer a quality, baked fresh food outlet in the suburbs?

The PR Strategy:
As Panera Bread began opening new stores all over the country, I helped promote those individual openings with a strong local media campaign.  As the coverage snowballed, we not only attained local news coverage, but also got the attention of the national media. Within a very short time, Panera Bread was getting coverage well beyond St. Louis! CNBC, The Wall Street Journal and other top tier media were covering the company and Panera Bread transformed from a little known start-up to a major food brand.

The Results:
With a strong management team, a consumer-oriented concept, and quality products – combined with effective marketing and media relations – Panera Bread jumped from a handful of local stores to a national brand.

 

WAYNE ROGERS: FROM M*A*S*H* TO BUSINESS WHIZ

The Challenge:
Film and television stars often have a difficult time breaking out of the mold when they’ve played a very popular role.  Imagine the challenge in helping move the image of the late Wayne Rogers, the man who played the well-known character of Trapper John on the classic CBS-TV show M*A*S*H, from a television personality to a respected financial advisor!

The Background:
It’s not every day that Trapper John   comes calling. Rogers was finishing a book, Make Your Own Rules: A Renegade Guide to Unconventional Success and seeking help promoting it. His book dealt with his wildly successful business career after M*A*S*H, including serving as  Chairman of the popular bridal company, Kleinfelds, and starting up the TV hit “Say Yes to the Dress.”

The PR Strategy:
Getting media attention for Rogers’ book was no a slam dunk. A majority of young reporters and producers were born long after M*A*S*H went off the air, had not seen the show, and some had not even heard of Rogers. So our campaign did not deal with his celebrated Hollywood past, but focused on his post- TV success in the business world. Contrary to what some others might have looked at as the focal point of the campaign – his television career – we saw his celebrity potentially detracting from his impressive business credentials and track record.

The Results:
We created a public relations campaign that put Rogers and his book into the mainstream national media from wsj.com to the NY Times to Fox Radio. A second campaign targeted local major U.S. cities; resulted in stories in the San Francisco Chronicle, KFWB Radio in Los Angeles, and dozens of stories in local papers, websites and radio stations. The book did well and Rogers was delighted with the PR campaign.

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REVENGE OF THE NERDS

The Challenge:
In today’s competitive business world, how do you get the investment and business communities to take a trio of college students seriously?  Despite the phenomenal success of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, most students are viewed as beer-guzzling fraternity boys in school for a good time.

The Background:
Hourly Nerd.com
 was a start-up concept that had roots in a Harvard Business School classroom. As part of a class assignment, Rob Biederman, 26; Peter Maglathlin, 27; and Patrick Petitti, 29, came up with the idea of creating a website that linked small businesses seeking professional help and advice with student MBAs from the top business schools in the country. Today, Hourly Nerd.com helps small businesses that cannot afford a major consulting company like a McKinsey, Booz Allen & Hamilton; Deloitte; or Bain, with top-flight MBA students who provide to-flight input and advice for a fraction of the price. And with the reach of the Internet, geography posed no problem in connecting students from across the nation with businesses located anywhere.

The PR Strategy:
We focused on reaching both sides of the equation, college students across the nation who were talented and experienced enough to provide real value to businesses seeking assistance, and businesses willing to utilize those skills.  In less than one month, stories appeared at CNBC.com, Yahoo!  NBC News.com, and the NY Times. The media we approached were those that would appeal to the business community, completely ignoring lifestyle and entertainment media.

The Results:
The coverage not only created instant awareness, generating businesses and student MBAs signing-up on the site, but also fueled investor funding interest in the co-founders and the company, including a major financial investment from entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

 

GENERATING GREEN FROM GREEN SPACES

The Challenge:
Dan Biederman wanted to leapfrog his success in transforming one park into a national business, and a combination of his abilities and a successful media relations campaign were the dual tools to do the job.

The Background: 
Dan Biederman is the man responsible for transforming Bryant Park in New York in 1992 from a crime-ridden, drug-filled, dangerous midtown location behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan into a seven- acre jewel and quiet haven for New Yorkers and tourists alike. Biederman contacted me to implement  a public relations campaign for his private firm, Biederman Redevelopment Ventures. The goal was to create further awareness and generate new business. BRV Corp. is a leader in place- making, the planning, design and management of public spaces and partners with cities in the creation and revitalization of parks, public outdoor areas, and streetscapes via private management funding.

The PR Strategy:
The timing could not have been better given, the financial strains on states and cities.  Words like “public/private management” and “redevelopment” were bandied about in city council chambers and municipal planning firms’ conference rooms across the nation…and that was an imperative we took advantage of on behalf of the Biederman organization.

The Results:
In short order, Biederman and his firm’s capabilities was covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Crain’s New York Business, Washington Post and other major media outlets for his work from The Boston Common, and the Chelsea District of New York City to his urban park and beatification projects in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Newark. And that coverage helped generate new projects around the country.

 

For further information on the above case studies or other media relations programs I have implemented related to your specific needs, contact me at john@johnlgoodman.com