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Mantra Public Relations Case Studies



Lavasoft Launches AdAware 2007

Headquartered in Sweden, Lavasoft (www.lavasoft.com), maker of the award-winning Ad-Aware, is a global leader in anti-spyware software. With over a quarter of a billion downloads, Ad-Aware products are the most downloaded anti-spyware in the world.

With Ad-Aware 2007 on the horizon, Lavasoft had a problem. Over the years, Lavasoft had had only sporadic contact with the U.S. media, even though journalists ranked AD-Adware among the best anti-spyware software in the world. The U.S. press felt snubbed.

Though Mantra's membership in the Public Relations Network (www.pr-network.biz), an international public relations network, Lavasoft was introduced to Mantra for a U.S. publicity blitz.

Ad-Aware 2007 was the first new version of the popular software to be launched in two years. Over a six-month period, Mantra publicized first the beta release and then the final version of Ad-Aware 2007.

Mantra developed a publicity campaign for Lavasoft that included:

  • Editorial desk-side meetings with influential media
  • All-new press kit with informative articles
  • Press releases sent to 1,000+ U.S. journalists and media venues
  • Media training for Lavasoft spokespersons Michael Helander and Janie Whitty
  • Phone interviews with journalists in 10-12 cities
  • A three-city national media tour.

The Lavasoft Ad-Aware 2007 official launch release went out over the national wire to 1,000+ journalists and media outlets. The tour began in New York City, then headed to Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. Mantra president Gaye Carleton escorted the Lavasoft representatives to each media appointment in all three cities.

For the first time, U.S. journalists met face-to-face at editorial desk-side appointments with Lavasoft representatives:

  • Christian Science Monitor
  • CNET
  • eWeek
  • Forbes
  • Laptop Magazine
  • PC Magazine
  • PC World
  • San Jose Mercury News
  • Wall Street Journal

By phone they were interviewed by:

  • CIO Magazine
  • Computer Security Journal
  • ComputerWorld
  • Dallas Morning News
  • Financial Times
  • InfoWorld
  • Miami Herald
  • Tech Talk with Craig Peterson

In Washington, anti-spyware legislation was heating up in Congress. Accordingly, Homeland Defense Week carried a Podcast interview with Michael and Janie, taped in front of the Capitol Building before the reflecting pools. http://www.podtech.net/home/3321/spyware-in-search-of-an-answer-part-1

In the world of technology, independent software testing adds credibility and bestows real honor on the software developers. Two top media venues committed to testing Lavasoft's Ad-Aware 2007:

  • PC Magazine
  • PC World

In total, Lavasoft was featured, reviewed or mentioned in more than 250 media outlets within the United States, with additional media coverage that appeared subsequently.

Ad-Aware 2007 was an "Editor's Choice" at PC World and Download.com. The Lavasoft tour was a success. Lavasoft had met their goals of achieving media coverage and, more importantly, establishing personal relationships with the influential technology journalists based in the U.S.

Michael Helander of Lavasoft says, "Because of the dedicated professionals at Mantra Public Relations, not only was our U.S. press tour a success, we've also been able to establish ongoing and valuable industry dialogue with key IT journalists, editors and product reviewers."
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Connie Francis

Acclaimed singer sues Universal Music for $40 million
New York, New York

From the 1950s to the mid 1970s, Connie Francis was America’s darling, with hits such as “Who’s Sorry Now” and “Where the Boys Are.” But in the mid ‘70s, the beloved performer was raped in her hotel room after a performance in Westbury, New York.

It was a downhill slide thereafter. Connie Francis could no longer perform onstage or in the studio; she was stoned on lithium and nearly incapable of handling her affairs. At her nadir, she tried to commit suicide.

Meanwhile, Universal Music, without regard for Francis’s well-being, licensed her music to be used in gay male porn flicks that depicted staged murders and rapes. Her music was also licensed for international compilations for which she never received royalties.

The prestigious Park Avenue law firm she retained to redress these grievances decided it would be advantageous for the public to know about Francis’s plight, so Mantra was retained in January, 2002, to influence public opinion.

Mantra decided the story would appeal to the entertainment industry, the celebrity press, and business and legal media. A press conference on the day of the legal filing in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, would draw major national attention.

The night before the filing, Connie Francis strategically appeared on Larry King Live. The lawsuit was never mentioned, but audiences knew something was up, and the stage was set.

On March 12, 2002, the press conference was jammed with reporters from the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Entertainment Tonight, the Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Variety, MSNBC, Us magazine, the New York Daily News, the New York Post and all local television stations.

Connie Francis gave her statement, as did the law firm, then clips were shown from the porn flicks. Showing the flicks to the press, Mantra felt, would illustrate the gravity of the lawsuit.

Over the next few weeks, Mantra handled the hundreds of phone calls that poured in. Most were scheduled to meet with representatives from the law firm. Mantra then selected five media venues for personal interviews with Ms. Francis: the New York Times, Entertainment Tonight, the New York Daily News, the Los Angeles Times and Billboard.

The lawsuit is still pending, not yet having gone to trial. The law firm has agreed to hire Mantra to heat things up again prior to the case being presented to a jury.
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Mark McMahon

Top orthopedic surgeon seeks Senate nomination against Hillary Clinton
New York, New York

Mark McMahon received 18% of the primary vote in the country’s hottest Senate race in 2000. After all, a First Lady had never before run for office. She was a shoe-in for the nomination, wasn’t she?

The New York Times, MSNBC, Fox Cable News, the Associated Press and even WNBC’s Gabe Pressman, the most influential political reporter in New York City, were all startled into covering a Democratic candidate they’d at first thought a “crackpot.” Run against Hillary? In a primary? Why?

Mark McMahon is a prestigious Park Avenue orthopedic surgeon whose specialty is sports teams, including the New York Jets.

Repositioning him as a serious candidate for a Senate slot from New York took Mantra nearly a year, but in the end, the press respected his efforts and understood his sincerity in wanting to give New York Democrats a real choice on a primary ballot.

A Harvard graduate, Mark was always politically active and had had political aspirations. With Hillary in the race, he realized there wouldn’t really even be a Democratic primary election for the coveted Senate seat. To Mark, that wasn’t fair. So he chose to run.

In Albany, the state capital, Mantra impressed upon the local media that Mark’s official filing of a petition with the 46,000 signatures necessary to be considered a candidate was indeed news. The Schenectady Daily and dozens of others started the buzz upstate.

Meanwhile, Mantra kept the Jewish Times and outer-borough newspapers in New York City, early supporters of Mark’s and where he had collected many of those signatures, up to date and continually fed with news stories.

With Mark as a viable, credible candidate, the phones at Mantra didn’t stop ringing. Mark McMahon was serious. A bus tour of the state was decided to be the best way to pull in votes from the more conservative Upstate cities and towns. Every major and small-town newspaper, radio and TV station covered his tour.

Back in New York City for the primary elections, Mark was delighted to hear the late-night results on every local news station and many national ones.

That evening, Hillary Clinton called to congratulate him on a solid campaign and to offer him a role in her election campaign as a health-care expert. He declined, having made his stand, and has been back in practice ever since.
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Robert J. Reby

Niche financial advisor expands his revenue base
Danbury, Connecticut

First the tech bust, then September 11th. The economy was and still is in a slump. Enron and the mutual funds debacle were yet to come. But savvy entrepreneurs know that the best way to bolster their companies in economic downturns is to pull out all the stops and create visibility.

So it was that when everyone was running scared in November, 2001, Bob Reby decided to hire Mantra Public Relations to gain national attention for his southwest Connecticut firm. This kind of notice would give him a competitive edge in his tight market of wealthy 50-somethings.

Mantra president Gaye Carleton sat down with Bob and identified his strengths. Retirement, it turned out, was his expertise – obviously he was a personal finance expert with a specialty in retirement.

In Year 1, Mantra accomplished Bob’s goals for national exposure. He appeared as an expert voice in three Associated Press articles, Fortune, Business Week, CNN, CNBC, CNNfn, Fox News and PBS’s This Week in Wall Street, among others.

In Year 2, he floated the idea of writing a book on retirement. Mantra was instrumental in helping him structure and formulate his project. A consumer market was ideal for expanding his audience, helping more people with their finances and establishing an additional revenue stream. Bob hadn’t considered this secondary market for his advice.

While he wrote the book, Mantra continued to support him as a retirement specialist – now with more of a consumer focus – and his national coverage snowballed. Another piece in Business Week appeared, as well as a feature-length Associated Press article. Associated Radio, Investor’s Business Daily and Bloomberg TV all wanted him as a guest. He is also now a regular on CNNfn.

Retire without Worry, Bob’s new book, was published in January 2004. He has a national distributor who was greatly influenced by the number and quality of the press clippings Mantra provided. Publishers Weekly included the book in a feature story about personal finance titles, and the Associated Press did another feature mentioning the book.

Year 3 has brought reviews of his new book in major trade publications, regional and national newspapers in the U.S. and radio interviews thus increasing this secondary revenue stream. Mantra scheduled all his booksignings and has paved the way for Bob to become affiliated with a national speakers’ bureau.
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Tech-friendly apparel & accessories
San Francisco, California

In 1999 this women-owned apparel company was $500,000 in debt and needed to raise consumer awareness of their products in order to sell its clothing.

It was the height of the tech boom; ufunction sold women’s apparel and accessories that made accessibility easy. Hoodies, miniskirts, purses and the like all were designed with special pockets to carry a Palm Pilot, MP3 player or cell phone. Items were available for secure ordering through ufunction’s Web site.

The three owners decided to embark on a publicity campaign rather than advertising. Their only marketing expense, aside from maintenance of the Web site, was participation in the Spring Fashion Week in New York and two industry trade shows.

The primary goal was to build value among the women in the technology industry and to create a buzz about the company.

Mantra’s president Gaye Carleton determined that the three main areas of focus would be the fashion press, technology media and the business press. Mantra set about creating a buzz in these areas of the media.

Creative pitches and consistent follow-up yielded, over the course of the year, stories about ufunction in all three areas. Among many others, these included:

San Francisco Chronicle (1/2 pg. story)   Teen People (Dec. issue)
Seventeen New York Daily News
Silicon Alley Reporter Business 2.0

After a year of successful media placements, the owners decided to sell their company, which they accomplished in the spring of 2001.

But not before one of the principals received the prestigious Silicon Alley Reporter Top 10 Entrepreneurs of the Year Award in December 2000.

Ufunction was sold for $5 million dollars.
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Jerry Hickey

Mom-and-pop natural pharmacy goes mainstream
New York, New York

When Jerry Hickey, R. Ph., first contacted Mantra president Gaye Carleton about publicity for his natural pharmacy, he was known among the holistic set for his excellent nutritional and pharmaceutical advice and products. For two decades he had promoted the proper use of vitamins, minerals, herbs and homeopathic preparations.

He wanted to be on the cutting edge of a movement that he sensed was about to break open. For that, he would need more visibility…and the credibility that comes with media coverage.

Mantra’s first task was to rebrand him as America’s leading nutritional pharmacist. Bringing progressive nutrition into the pharmacy was new, and health-conscious consumers would want to know about it, so Mantra’s strategy was to promote him to the mainstream media.

Two and one half years later, he had three pharmacies, a thriving mail-order business and an extensive celebrity clientele. In addition, he owns his own branded line, In-Vite, and directs the Hickey Nutrition Center on Long Island.

By promoting Jerry’s new approach to natural healthcare, Mantra was able to break him out into the mainstream as well as boost his image among his colleagues and within the industry.

Jerry is regularly sourced by the media and has been interviewed by numerous magazines and newspapers, including Newsweek, the Sunday New York Times, the Baltimore Sun-Times, Crain’s New York Business, the New York Daily News, Newsday, Seventeen, Details, Brides and Glamour. In addition, he has appeared on Fox TV, ABC Eyewitness News, MSNBC and CNBC.

He cohosts the popular Healthline, a daily talk show, on WEVD Radio in New York and cohosts a weekend nutrition talk show airing on WOR TV.

His celebrity clientele includes Madonna, Cindy Crawford, David Letterman, Donna Karan, Kate Moss, Lauren Bacall, members of the New York Yankees, Bill Cosby, Bianca Jagger and Katie Couric, to name a few.
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