Best practice from SASS
A respected household name for 85 years, Kleeneze Ltd specialises in supplying home, garden, health and beauty products via home shopping catalogues. It is a founder member of the UK Direct Selling Association (DSA) and is endorsed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
One of the UK’s leading network marketing company, Kleeneze works like a franchise operation but without the prohibitive start-up costs. It has 12,500 self-employed distributors who door-drop catalogues nationwide.
Distributors operating in the UK can set-up anywhere in the country and, unlike many other network marketing companies, without the limitations of territory restrictions which means there is an unlimited earnings potential for individuals who want:
- To be their own boss
- Total flexibility of hours
- An unrestricted income
- To get out of debt
SASS was tasked with implementing a PR campaign to support Kleeneze’s commercial objective of increasing distributor recruitment via a consumer media relations campaign. The recruitment and conversion of new distributors was crucial, and so PR coverage was required that: linked in to ‘hot’ media topics relating to debt and macro-economic factors and promoted the rewards provided to distributors as they move up the company pay plan (e.g. new cars / international trips), focusing on Kleeneze’s seven core target audiences:
- Recently made redundant
- Women with young children
- Those In need of extra cash:
- Want to own their own business
- Want to work from home
Despite mass sales over a four year period, awareness of Kleeneze as a business opportunity was either minimal or fairly negative (due to a lack of distinction between network marketing and pyramid selling) and individuals were deterred from joining the network and the media didn’t understand the business model.
Our PR campaign was devised to increase brand and media awareness in the seven core areas with content devised to reduce the stigma attached to becoming a Kleeneze distributor and door dropping catalogues. Working to a limited spend budget, our strategy was to undertake a hardworking media relations campaign that maximised the brand advocates already in place – the distributor network – and used their stories to raise awareness of the business opportunity in the consumer media, and our plan of attack was two-fold:
Get The Media On-Side
Kleeneze’s message was so commercial / complex that we knew it would be a challenge to get the media, switched on to promoting the business opportunity. A targeted approach, identifying core targets via media buying techniques was needed and so we planned the camping using TGI / MOSAIC consumer media consumption data combined with team ‘gut feel’ to audit a cross-section of publications and find out how we could get them to buy into the Kleeneze concept.
Get The Network On-Side
Early on, we identified that winning over the people whose stories would be at the heart of the campaign would be critical to success and activity would need to be put in place to get the key influencers within the network on board.
Our media relations campaign focused on collating quirky ‘real-life’ human interest stories that outlined distributor successes, funded directly by a Kleeneze business. We also created generic briefing materials explaining network marketing as well as template releases to support ‘rewards’ awards news.
To make the most of opportunities to get in front of the network, mechanics to seek out stories that would peak media interest were put in place including, the creation of story briefing forms to get distributors sharing their stories and undertaking story trawling sessions at local distributor meetings and a dedicated SASS stand at the company’s three UK conferences, attended by c.5,000 distributors, facilitated better working relationships and allowed the SASS team to gather stories and share details of the PR campaign.
The results of the media and network specific activities were then combined to create a ‘match making’ matrix that summarised what content would suit which title, ensuring every publication was covered and no story duplicated.
SASS then hooked into key calendar dates and hot media topics from how to overcome ageism to discussing supplementing a bio-chemistry student’s tuition fees, to provide ‘on brand’ Kleeneze stories that gave journalists reasons to write about the brand. These were then fed to a bank of core freelancers who placed content in target media because of the mutually beneficial relationships that were put in place.
SASS delivered a twelve month campaign that generated quality rather than quantity hits across a broad spectrum of media (The Guardian / Woman / Daily Mirror / Paul O’Grady).
ROI: £21 of coverage for every £1 spent
No. of leads: 128 p/week (Feb 08) from 44 p/week
The campaign has also been nominated for Best PR Strategy at the 2008 SWOT Awards.
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