Monthly Archives: February 2012

Benefits of Celebrity Endorsements for Spirit Brands


With the recent trends of celebrities toting spirits as a part of their trendy, exciting and glamorous life, be it the high-end prize or a product targeting a specific demographic, it has become a recognizable trend in the spirits industry. Not only would you hear about Sean “Diddy” Combs waxing lyrically about Ciroc or the Entourage crew drinking Avion Tequila, spirits have become a delicious treat and to a certain extent, the guilty pleasure of today’s pop culture.

The colorful subtext of the cultural influences that we might have been exposed to may also be a good indication as to why spirits, “the hard stuff,” seem more approachable, liberating, and intoxicating than wine as the beverage of choice for Pop culture in its quest to influence the different demographics of the cultural scene.

Celebrity involvement also seems to be a benefit to consumers in that it brings about the room for growth and improvement of products that are available in the market, as well as entrepreneurship. Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges began his rap career by endorsing Henessy, however as his knowledge and appreciation of Cognac changed, so did his desire to become personally involved in the production of fine cognac. He had since then teamed up with Birkedal Hartmann, a reputable Cognac house to produce Conjure. According to Corey Bunnewith, the NE Brand Ambassador for Conjure Cognac, “Ludacris has 52% ownership in Conjure and is very involved in the process of creating and marketing the cognac.” Ensuring that the product is worthy of endorsing, Bridges had handcrafted the signature Conjure Blend with Cognac ranging from 30 to 40 Eaux de Vie from Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne and Borderie. The exceptional touch of Birkedal Hartmann was to age this blend in the fifty years old Limousin oak barrels.

Considering the traditionalist market for fine spirits such as cognac, it is a calculated risk that Bridges is taking; however it is one that is showing promising growth. Although it has seen incredible growth in urban markets through “off-premise” or retail sales, the established “on-premise accounts are starting to buy into the label” according to Bunnewith.

In today’s culture of social networking, brand management and conscious media exposure, there are many channels of communications where pop culture influences the perception of spirits. The emergence of the successful figures as spokespeople for higher-quality brands offers the opportunity to take a step away from the inebriated counterproductive “Snookies” of the world and towards the inspirational ideal that finer living conveys. With a proper image and education, alcohol makes the magical transition from abused to appreciated.

For more information about celebrity procurement contact us at



FASHION PR: PRominence Marketing Group

Friday Five: Five Ways New York Fashion Week Leveraged Social Media

Last week, fashion aficionados flocked to New York City to partake in Fashion Week 2012 shows and events. While the world of fashion has always been seen as an exclusive and elite circle, the adoption of social media tactics for these events has created a more accessible and interactive environment. Well-known and lesser-known designers have been creatively leveraging their brands in the online space to not only create buzz, but to build a new base of fans outside of the typical luxury consumer.

As consumers gain more access through behind-the-scenes news shared via social media, everyone becomes a critic, whether they are front row at a runway show or casually checking in on Twitter or Tumblr. Here are a few ways the gap between high-end designers and everyday consumers is being breached in the social space:

    1. Increased Accessibility

While front row seats at runway shows have long been the most coveted seats in fashion, many designers have added a live streaming component to their shows, allowing their latest collections to be viewed by consumers around the world. This type of access gives consumers the feeling of being involved in this exclusive scene while also encouraging them to share thoughts with other fashion-focused connections on various social media platforms. Conversations which were once dominated by fashion editors and bloggers are now driven by consumers, ranging from huge fashion fans to the casual observer.   In addition, rapidly growing platforms like Tumblr, which partnered with Milk Studios and Pinterest, add a visually appealing layer to online buzz. Joining in on the Pinterest craze, The Wall Street Journal created event-specific Pinterest boards with its favorite looks and leveraged its Instagram account, creating a more holistic social experience for WSJ.

    1. Expanded Sense of Community

Social media gives consumers a powerful voice, which requires deft management of messaging and content strategy from a brand perspective. Luxury brands, such as Oscar de le Renta, are best-in-class examples of building on an already established community while making an effort to seek out prospective purchasers through innovative efforts via social platforms. To reach a broader audience, the brand launched OscarPRGirl on Pinterest and Tumblr to interact with consumers who may not be within the target demographic, but are still interested in fashion and style. The demographic of Pinterest and Tumblr users doesn’t skew toward the average Oscar de la Renta consumer, but it asserts the brand as a valuable resource for all consumers, not just an elite few.

    1. Model Behavior

While much of the focus of Fashion Week is placed upon the latest looks from the most sought-after designers, the models participating in these events are likely to be active on social media platforms as well. Much like working with bloggers or spokespeople, these models represent the labels they are working for in the social space. Sharing backstage photos, tweeting updates from the makeup chair, or updating Facebook with video from the backstage area, the models can be utilized as brand ambassadors. For example, Coco Rocha essentially used social media to transform herself from runway model to fashion event ambassador over the last few New York Fashion Week seasonal events. HerFacebook and Twitter feeds are the go-to source for runway show gossip, news, and looks, and she is ramping up her use of Vimeo and Pinterest. By garnering a large online audience, she has catapulted herself into the digital realm while remaining a sought-after runway fixture.

    1. Encouraging Sales via Social Media

Brands are encouraging attendees to tweet, photograph, blog, and engage on a variety of networks to close the gap between the hype of a new collection and the time it actually takes to hit the store. Labels such as Burberry, which launched a pre-shopping experience called “Runway to Reality” on its website, are embracing a digital “Shop the Runway” concept, allowing consumers to dictate what lines end up on store racks. Harrods, an upmarket department store, has gone one step farther by posting images of runway designs to its Facebook page and purchasing those that receive the most “likes” for its shop floors. As social media outlets offer consumers insight and access to the fashion world, companies are benefiting from free publicity and a gained understanding of purchasing preferences.

    1. David Vs. Goliath

While New York Fashion Week tends to place a great deal of emphasis on the most powerful brands, this is also an opportunity for fledgling designers and fashion houses to showcase their work to a highly influential crowd. To maximize this opportunity, designers like Prabal Gurung deftly leveraged their social media presence to amplify chatter about their collections, allowing their names and designs to resonate beyond the usual suspects of the fashion world who may not be as adept at tapping into their online communities for support and feedback. The ICB by Prabal Gurung show presented the first online, invite-only runway show allowing viewers to easily discuss the line via social platforms and experience the show from all angles, as well as from backstage, while getting a better view of the garments first time around via online-embedding capabilities, high-resolution photos, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage. The end result was an increase in online conversation about the brand, whether well received or not, by offering something different from the norm.

The fashion world, like many other industries, will continue to explore and experiment with new social media tactics to boost engagement and give fans an authentic, unique online experience. These strategies are applicable to all industries wishing to leverage their brand, gain consumer insight, increase their fan base, and ultimately increase profitability. How would you apply these tactics to your brands?


Source: Friday Five: Five Ways New York Fashion Week Leveraged Social Media.

Public Relations Can Bring Big Attention to Small Business

In today’s business environment and media landscape, companies are vying with each other for attention from a myriad of audiences: customers, suppliers, consultants, and prospective employees to name a few. It can be especially difficult for small businesses to make a big impact in such a noisy environment. Small businesses have their own particular goals and challenges in the marketplace. Public relations can play a significant – and often cost effective – role in raising the visibility of small businesses.

Why should a small business consider launching a public relations program?

  • For small businesses, public relations is an invaluable marketing tool. It creates visibility and brand recognition, builds credibility and third-party validation through editorial placement, and hopefully, generates new business leads. Targeted, strategic public relations can also produce tangible results that raise awareness of a company’s competitive differentiators, promote a niche expertise, or target specific markets.
  • Earned PR is validated by the media, a distinction that sets it apart from most other communications vehicles. People who read about a new product or service put more credence in an article than a paid advertisement. Moreover, PR tends to be less expensive than paid marketing, advertising, or direct mail – another plus for small business.
  • Just as a small business owner would hire an accountant to do their taxes, the services of a PR consultant or firm should be used to handle communications.Unless there is someone within the company who is dedicated to or tasked with PR, it often falls to the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list. Like any other discipline, there are best practices and nuances in public relations that a small business owner might not know or have the time to learn. Small business owners are focused on running their business: PR professionals have the expertise, contacts and creativity to garner coverage and get the message out.
  • Hire wisely. Whether it’s a sole proprietor or small PR firm, ask questions to ascertain a PR professional’s approach. Find out their track record for delivering results, how familiar they are with traditional PR and social media, and whether their media contacts align with your business model or targeted region. Ask for samples of a consultant’s placements and speak with a firm’s other clients before making any decisions. PR consultants should work with your small business as an extension of your marketing department, so culture, personality and fit are important to working as a team.
  • Choose a PR professional or firm that understands the unique goals and challenges of small businesses. The first step of every successful PR program is to understand the client’s core business by knowing what sets it apart from its competition. For small businesses owners, that golden nugget includes their expertise and the story behind their business. A good PR professional will convey the message – and teach you how to express it to the media, too.

As a critical piece of any small business’ integrated marketing efforts, public relations can bring measurable results to a company’s bottom line and help it achieve its business development goals.


Source: Public Relations Can Bring Big Attention to Small Business.

Black Enterprise 2012 Women of Power Summit

Nearly 800 attendees of the Black Enterprise 7th Annual Women of Power Summit emerged refreshed and energized after the four-day event at the Ritz Carlton Grand Lakes in Orlando.

A team of top tier business owners, executives, entrepreneurs and pioneers in the black community became a hands-on source for women focusing on life-changing tools and professional enrichment.
Organizers said Feb. 15 event began with a networking and shopping extravaganza hosted by Macy’s for women to unwind and prepare for the Women of Power Legacy Awards Dinner.

Trailblazers who redefined industry standards with their groundbreaking achievements were saluted during an evening reception, including singer and activist Dionne Warwick, veteran broadcast journalist Carole Simpson, baseball hall of famer Jackie Robinson’s widow Rachel Robinson, Brandeis University professor of social policy, law and women’s studies Anita Hill and fashion designer and creator of Amsale Design Group Amsale Aberra.

Attendees were treated to networking workshops to sharpen their current skills, develop health management strategies, investment techniques and gain knowledge for possible career changes from experts and life coaches.

Among the highlights were a concert featuring R&B singer Eric Benet and a spring fashion show hosted by Star Jones.

Read more:

Laura Govan Covers BE Magazine Valentines Day Edition


Visit to purchase your copy!!!

Prominence Marketing Group Relocates to New York City


You heard it right here! Prominence Marketing Group has relocated to New York City and we are open for business. Stay tuned!

What makes a good publicist?

ImageWhat makes a good publicist?

Good publicists can be seen as “image doctors,” that create the image of their client that their demographic wants to see, and then broadcasts this image to the public through mass media. PR starts at the root, and what many businesses do not understand is that a publicist not only talks to the media on their behalf, but they also provide great insight into how to brand a client so that they are instantly more appealing to the demographic- i.e. work with the branding team to make sure the logo and collateral materials all reflect the image that the public would be most reactive to (this is especially true for new businesses).


When hiring a publicist there are many qualities a brand needs to look for that besides “being social and like-able,” include:

  • Exceptional writing skills– when communicating your messages with people that write for a living -the journalists- those press releases and pitches better ALWAYS be spic and span
  • Highly creative– journalists get 100’s of emails a day, so mass mailing of a press release in order to get their attention simply won’t do
  • Highly organized– with 1000’s of journalist contacts to keep track of, a publicist needs to know exactly who they are communicating with and when
  • Excellent taste– in order to create the perfect image for a client, a publicist needs to have great taste and visual talents to make sure the physical image reflects the whole concept of the campaign

Keep these things in mind when hiring a publicist and if all the qualities are there- you are guaranteed