- marlo monthly
In 2011, marlo marketing was hired by Pain D’Avignon (PDA), a family-owned and operated European-style bakery and café located on Cape Cod in Hyannis, Massachusetts. The bakery was founded with a desire to bring the European-style artisan breads that the owners grew up with in their native Serbia to New England. Valuing old-world baking techniques and family recipes, all of PDA’s baked goods are made daily and use only the finest, natural ingredients including stone-ground whole-wheat flour, sea salt, wild flower honey and Greek olive oil; they pride themselves on using no preservatives or anything artificial in any of their products. In addition, they hand cut and shape their breads and most are made “en couche” (in roughwoven pieces of linen) to maintain shape, flavor and moisture. The careful detail that goes into each PDA loaf is evidence of their dedication to the timeless art of European baking.
A big challenge in securing coverage for a local bakery/restaurant is that there isn’t a newsworthy hook for many stories in outlets beyond those in its immediate environs. Normally that isn’t as much of an issue, as creating awareness within a local community is enough to drive a local business. But because PDA was located in a destination with a population that swells in the summer with people from throughout New England as well as from across the country, we had strong reason behind our desire to achieve a national reach with our media program.
We knew the only way we would be able to get national press on a consistent basis was if we could come up with a program that was worthy of national coverage. Taking advantage of the fact that the bakery is located on the well-known destination of Cape Cod and was also celebrating its 20th year of making European-style breads, we proposed launching a “Bread of the Month” (BOTM) program that would allow for widespread awareness of the brand.
After analyzing PDA’s capabilities and doing market research, we knew that by leveraging the popularity of “monthly clubs,” we could tie their specialty breads to the seasons or holidays in order to always have something relevant to pitch. The fact that it was in a club offering that could ship nationally provided the broader reach we sought. Additionally, this program would help the PDA brand become more recognizable outside of Cape Cod and New England, while potentially motivating tourists to make a stop at the Hyannis bakery during their vacations. Another big benefit to this program was creating gifting opportunities for PDA through their retail products, which they hadn’t explored before. BOTM was packaged in way that lent itself naturally to gifting – chocolate/hazelnut bread for Valentine’s Day or giving the entire club as a holiday/hostess/corporate/wedding/birthday gift. A residual bonus would be helping them build their mail order business, which was underutilized.
After spending months finalizing every element of the program with our client – from the type of bread matched to the month, season or holiday to accompaniments (recipes, PDA retail products, etc.) for each offering, packaging, shipping options for a product with a short shelf-life and pricing that would not be unrealistic, we arranged and directed a day-long photo shoot to capture images of every monthly offering. We crafted a press release to detail the program and PDA’s exceptional baking attributes. We knew there were endless press audiences for this program and built a press list of thousands of contacts that ranged from food, travel, lifestyle, women’s and wedding digital and print magazines to specialized national, regional and local magazines, newspapers and online sites.
We distributed the release in April 2012 and organized our press follow-up by category. We first targeted food and local/regional outlets to secure placements and tie to short-lead editorial opportunities around Mother’s Day. In the early summer, we concentrated heavily on the annual holiday gift guides, which was an intense effort. This was a four-month long effort and yielded great results.
In 2012 alone, we secured over 50 print and online placements reaching 10,000,000+in circulation, including T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Serious Eats, American Way and Restaurant Business magazine, where the concept was recognized as the #5 “Great Idea” of 2012 in the annual “50 Best Ideas “ issue.
After our initial broad outreach, our pitching efforts for BOTM have been mostly connected to seasonal and holiday ties, where we’ve secured placements in outlets including the The Wall Street Journal’s holiday gift guide.
All of this coverage resulted in orders being placed for BOTM from across the country. In total, about 60 orders were placed during 2012. 2013 was the first full season following the media coverage of BOTM and PDA; the WSJ piece alone resulted in 39 orders.
While the sales were welcomed, the messaging in these pieces and those across the board was spot-on – PDA’s incredible, European-style breads delivered anywhere at any time allowing for the PDA experience all year long – succeeded in considerably raising its profile, bringing in revenue from BOTM club sales and, most importantly, positioning it as a must-visit while on Cape Cod.