Post by Dana Casalino, Kite Hill PR Supervisor and Head of Kite Hill Experiences
The PRSA Tri-State Conference this week addressed a series of issues within the PR industry including transparency and lack of diversity, but also celebrated the results brands achieved when implementing authentic PR campaigns. Melissa Ben-Ishay, founder and CEO of Baked by Melissa, the creator of hand-crafted, bite-size cupcakes and macarons, shared her company’s story, emphasizing, “Our early investment in PR has shaped our business to where it is today.”
As Ben-Ishay walked the audience through the beginnings of her cupcake empire, she explained the best ingredients for success are “authenticity, great branding, great PR and hard work.” By staying true to her authentic self, Ben-Ishay realized her passion for cupcakes could lead her to a bright future. As the business developed, Ben-Ishay leveraged the power of word of mouth marketing and strategic PR tactics. The responses she received encouraged her to continuously come up with new ways to engage her consumers.
When diving into the impact today’s digital media landscape has on her PR strategy Ben-Ishay noted that, “The evolution of PR motivates me to come up with new and different ideas.” For example, Ben-Ishay spoke about the implementation of new Facebook Live campaigns as a part of her Cakes by Melissa book tour. She mentioned that while not every platform is the best for the Baked by Melissa brand, she is always willing to try new, creative tools to see what new avenues the brand can and should explore. “We build our PR strategy around what's new but decide what's authentic for our brand.”
Ben-Ishay highlighted a handful of new products and seasonal treats she’s continued to invent over the past year explaining, “I love creating new products to give my PR team new stories to tell.” She stressed the importance of storytelling through PR to capture key consumers when introducing a new brand or product to the marketplace.
When asked about avoiding controversy in a world of fake news and scandal on social media Ben-Ishay said proudly, “As long as I’m being true to myself and do things that make me feel good, that’s my version of authenticity and that’s also how we decide what conversations our brand will be a part of.”
Before concluding her energetic discussion with the #TriStateConf audience, Ben-Ishay wrapped up with a statement that, at Kite Hill, we can’t help but agree with: “PR and marketing is EVERYTHING!”