“Start-Up” Media Relations to Raise Awareness of Phoodeez
Phoodeez is a Boston-based start-up that is changing the way companies, universities and conferences order unique food options while saving time, money and headaches. Phoodeez streamlines the ordering process by creating interesting, cost-effective menus and allowing administrators, c-level executives, higher education leadership and others to lower stress and focus on their jobs. Phoodeez does this by leveraging the logistical and accounting expertise of Christine Marcus, CEO who managed a $26 billion annual budget for the Department of Energy, where she was the deputy CFO, and the industry experience and logistical knowledge of Sal Lupoli, chairman and founder of Lupoli Companies and fifty Sal’s Pizza and Salvatore’s restaurants.
Phoodeez not only streamlines the meal landscape for countless companies, but fuels business for its network of approved restaurants. The corporate catering industry is a $260 billion dollar-per-year operation, and Phoodeez drives large quantities of business and revenue to local restaurateurs, bringing new opportunities at off-peak hours.
Phoodeez secured a $300,000 investment from local VC fund Project 11, whose founders and managing directors, Katie Rae, Reed Sturtevant and Bob Mason, include two former managing directors at start-up accelerator Techstars Boston. The investment came at a pivotal growth period for the start-up and validates the vision of its founders.
- Develop a media relations program to build awareness and visibility in the Boston market and nationally about Phoodeez.
- Generate media coverage discussing the benefits of catered lunches for employees.
- Create word of mouth among companies, event organizers and media influencers.
Strategy & Execution:
- Conducted an initial project intake with the Phoodeez team to understand how the Phoodeez system works, including what partner restaurants were involved.
- Developed a thorough media list of national, regional, local, HR and food media outlets.
- Research and create media pitches with various angles, including: the importance of feeding employees; treating employees well as they are one of a company’s greatest assets; the impact of disrupting the corporate catering industry; focus on women-run businesses and leadership; women in technology; and the VC investment received from Project 11.
- Distributed a press release over BusinessWire announcing the VC investment from Project 11.
- Repurposed a blog post written by Marcus about the importance of finding a good business partner and pitched it local and national media.
- Entered Christine in Boston-area award competitions including BostInno’s 50 on Fire, the Boston Business Journal’s Women of Influence (WomenUP), Innovation All-Stars 2014 and Power 50: Most Influential Bostonians 2014.
Measurement & Results:
SA successfully launched Phoodeez as innovators in the $260-billion corporate catering industry, highlighting the importance of offering employees perks such as lunch and dinner. Over the course of the launch campaign, SA secured 19 media placements in print, online and broadcast, both locally and nationally. Locally, Phoodeez was featured on NECN, The Boston Herald the Boston Business Journal, BostInno, BetaBoston and the Boston Globe. Impressions from the compiled media outreach totaled 189,794,764 impressions, and the media campaign was instrumental in aiding the company’s growth.
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