Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
CEO Promotion is a Los Angeles-based e-commerce company, which provides an easy, convenient service to select, personalize, purchase and mail traditional greeting cards.

Paul Holmes

Recognizing the potential of an estimated $9.0 billion greeting card industry and the fact that the Internet is radically changing the same industry, Lorne Fierbach and Shawn Lowry founded in 1997. is a Los Angeles-based e-commerce company, which provides an easy, convenient service to select, personalize, purchase and mail traditional greeting cards.  The company is capitalizing on the sizable greeting card market by branding the site as the central destination for people who appreciate the convenience of buying, inscribing and mailing cards without having to leave home. A newcomer to the industry, launched shortly before Easter, competing with well-known brands such as Hallmark and American Greetings and other online greeting card companies.   Weber Shandwick Worldwide felt that had an excellent opportunity to dominate the electronic card marketplace with its new, unique offering.   While the dot com market is saturated with start-ups and “e” companies, no other company provides e-cards that can be delivered through the US postal service.  As Christmas and Mother’s Day are the busiest card-giving holidays of the year, Weber Shandwick recommended focusing on these holidays for the company’s major media push—Mother’s Day for the launch and Christmas to increase the drive in sales.  As a result of a well-executed public relations campaign, Weber Shandwick garnered significant print and broadcast media coverage, including several national placements, helping make its presence in the e-commerce market a success.
The following objectives were outlined as key to ensure the success of the program:
  • To initiate consumer awareness of
  • Generate significant broadcast coverage to create media splash for
  • Drive traffic to website
The audience encompasses the following groups:
  • Online consumers
  • College students
  • Baby Boomers (30-55)
  • Generation X (18-30)
  • Generation Y (8-18)
Weber Shandwick Worldwide procured secondary research from a survey funded by  The results were essential in helping add a media hook to the overall story.  Among other things, the survey revealed that 83% of those surveyed prefer to receive a traditional paper greeting card as opposed to e-cards.  Furthermore, 85% of mothers would rather receive a card through the US mail, and only 9% of total participants preferred to receive an electronic e-mail greeting.  64% of those surveyed intended to send a Mother’s Day card this past year, and for those between 18-35 surveyed, 80% intended to send a card. Given the aforementioned results, it is evident that mothers prefer to receive tangible cards in the US mail, and the majority of those surveyed were planning to send Mother’s Day cards.  As a result of these findings, we could easily use those numbers to support our story and launch announcement timing. 
Weber Shandwick released results of the survey in conjunction with our story which were used to wet the appetite of nationwide media.  We then produced a B-roll package highlighting the lifestyle benefits of and distributed it to television stations nationwide.  Lastly, Weber Shandwick conducted an aggressive media outreach campaign intended to garner extensive coverage in local and national broadcast and print media, offering the B-roll package, or CEO guest appearances.
As Mother’s Day is one of the busiest card-giving days of the year, Weber Shandwick recommended leveraging Mother’s Day as the company’s major PR push. The survey was also placed in USA Today a week before Mother’s Day to drive broadcast coverage; the survey supported the story by focusing on the traditional versus electronic card sending methods. Shandwick produced a lifestyle b-roll package that focused on Getacard’s product features and lifestyle benefits.
The following were targeted for proactive media outreach:
  • National print media: Shandwick targeted major dailies such as Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times.  We also pitched the story to target weekly magazines such as Time, Newsweek and Business Week.
  • Business Broadcast media: Weber Shandwick contacted CNBC, CNNfn, Bloomberg and other business shows offering interviews with CEO Gary Hickox for interviews close to Mother’s Day.
  • National Morning Shows: As ABC Good Morning America, NBC Today Show and CBS Early Show all do several Mother’s Day and holiday shopping feature stories-- a natural opportunity to arrange for stand alone interviews, or for inclusion into round-up stories.
  • National News and Cable Programs: New technology and e-mail trends converge to create a strong story about how technology is affecting the way communicate, and we sent b-roll in order organize interviews with executives on CNN, NPR, MSNBC and NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.     
  • Local Market Broadcast: Weber Shandwick also recommended targeting the local morning news and technology programs across the country such as WCBS-TV (New York) News, WRC-TV (Washington DC) Digital Edge, and KTVK-TV (Phoenix) Good Morning Arizona.  Shandwick sent all outlets press materials as well as the b-roll.
B-roll footage aired on more than 57 television stations across the country including features in holiday stories on national programs such as ABC Good Morning America, CNN “Showbiz Today” and “Live Market Coverage,” CNNfn “Digital Jam” and the CBS “Early Show.”  The footage also ran in major metropolitan markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix and Sacramento.  The broadcast coverage resulted in more than 50 million estimated impressions.
The Mother’s Day campaign also garnered coverage in major dailies and magazines such as Time Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Business Journal resulting in more than 10 million impressions.
According to the client, this campaign resulted in a tripling of traffic to the website.
Article tags
Technology-New Media
View Style:

Load 3 More
comments powered by Disqus