You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

Marina Maher Communications (MMC), an independent marketing public relations agency known for building brand relationships and recognized for its expertise in marketing to women, recently unveiled its new brand identity and website ( which capped off a year-long celebration of the firm’s 25th anniversary.  “MMC’s new look and brand identity brings to life a celebration of important landmarks for the agency over the past year,” said Marina Maher, president, Marina Maher Communications. “The agency continued to grow during 2008, adding new clients and senior staff. We launched a new practice — MMC WELLNESS — to address expanding business opportunities. And we were very proud to have been named Creative Agency of the Year during 2008 by The Holmes Report.”  The new website and brand identity, developed with input from MMC employees and clients, is aligned with MMC’s new brand promise: “We build enduring brand communities by making emotional connections through fresh consumer insights and breakthrough ideas.”  MMC marked its 25th anniversary with a year of philanthropic involvement directed to the community it is most closely involved in communicating with: women. In September, MMC partnered with Dress for Success to host its first networking party for 100 members and alumni of the organization’s Professional Women’s Group (PWG). Dress for Success provides professional attire and career development tools to disadvantaged women around the world.  MMC also worked with NBC’s TODAY Show “Lend A Hand Today” series to donate $25,000 to kids from Wilderness Works, an outdoor adventure and experiential education program serving economically disadvantaged children in urban Atlanta.


Accession Public Relations has announced the launch of its female centered newswire service, LadyPR; the first online newswire distributor to specifically target women. LadyPR will help small and large companies deliver their press releases to women-based media both online and in print.  The news service, at the price of $75, offers potential customers the ability to distribute their releases via and select which particular type of industries they want to target, further assisting companies in strategically targeting their products and services to the right media.  “With the economy in the shape it is in, companies are cutting their marketing budgets and using their limited resources to market strategically and effectively. According to women account for over 80% of consumer purchases making them the most influential decision makers when it comes to buying products or services,” says co-founder and CEO, Sherrell Dorsey. “Our distribution service, not unlike that of Black PR Wire, PR Newswire or Business Wire, serves a niche market to help companies diversify their marketing strategy.”  LadyPR separates itself from other traditional newswire distributors by adding substantial value for each customer when they distribute their release. In addition to their release being sent to over 3,000 media outlets, press releases will also featured in the online newsroom and RSS feed to optimize search engine visibility. Customers will also have the benefit of receiving a tracking report of the publications that opened their release within the first 24 hours.

For the fifth consecutive year, Hanes was named consumers most preferred brand in 2008 in independent studies by Women’s Wear Daily and Retailing Today.  Consumers said Hanes, Hanesbrands Inc.’s largest brand, was the brand they preferred most in each of the men’s, women’s, children’s and intimate apparel categories, according to Retailing Today magazine’s “Top Brands Study” conducted by Leo J. Shapiro & Associates.  In the prestigious Women’s Wear Daily “Top 100 Brands Survey,” Hanes was the No. 1 apparel and accessories brand that women know best based on the results of online research that tracks consumer awareness of more than 800 brands in 12 apparel and accessories categories.  “Our commitment to comfort and innovation resonates with consumers as they look for value, quality and relevance when making their purchasing decisions,” said Kevin Hall, Hanesbrands’ chief marketing officer. “We’re pleased to be recognized by consumers as having America’s top apparel brands year in and year out. We have great brands, we invest in our brands and they deliver for consumers.”

The winner of the Digital Growth Contest, co-sponsored by Cox Business and Ladies Who Launch, is Gail Ahlers, owner of Pawtucket-based Ahlers Designs ( The contest – to support female business owners in several markets throughout the U.S. – was organized and managed by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) and is an important component of its Cable Means Business initiative.  As the winner, Ahlers will receive a prize package of services from Cox Business ( and the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center ( Other prizes to be provided by Ladies Who Launch include a virtual business roundtable discussion facilitated by founder Victoria Colligan and a feature on the winning business owners at  “This contest brought in a number of fascinating business success stories and provided us a unique opportunity to support women-owned small businesses,” said Mark Scott, vice president of Cox Business. “Cox Business is thrilled to have been involved in this effort to recognize and support such talented women, especially during these tough economic times.”

DIRECTV, Inc., the nation’s leading satellite TV service provider, is growing its WorldDirect™ programming platform with the addition of GMA Life TV, a channel fully dedicated to the life and style of Filipino women. GMA Life TV has an international platform with distribution in the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. GMA Life TV is GMA Network’s second international channel.  GMA Life TV delivers a variety of daytime and evening programming, tailored to fit the needs of Filipinas in the United States. During the day, GMA Life TV offers programming that focuses on culturally relevant health, beauty, nutrition and personal empowerment topics, and in the evening, entertainment with the best in Filipino drama available.  “The launch of GMA Life TV on the WorldDirect Platform allows us to deeply engage the Filipina audience in the U.S. while strengthening our commitment to providing the highest-quality programming,” said John de Armas, vice president, WorldDirect, Inc. “Our goal is to help preserve cultural roots and native language by offering culturally relevant content and providing captivating lifestyle programming.”

Getting your spring wardrobe selected and into your closet well in advance of the season just got easier, thanks to Etcetera (Casuals Etcetera, Inc.). The contemporary women’s clothing line recently launched its 2009 spring collection in 45 states. Etcetera is known for providing chic, everyday wear to busy, fashionable women via a direct sales, personalized shopping experience. And the 2009 spring collection, which can be previewed at, is no exception.  Etcetera’s designers have come up with over 300 unique pieces that work both together and separately to give women the most exciting wardrobe possible for their money. The new collection is now available via appointment-only trunk shows in consultants’ homes across the country.  “Given the current economy, women are focused on buying only the essentials this season,” says Mary Alice Heape, Etcetera president. “The spring line lets clients either enhance their existing wardrobes with a few must-haves or build out a more robust wardrobe by refreshing the basics. Some women are coming to us for that one signature piece that updates their wardrobe in one fell swoop. This is possible because our current and past collections work together to wisely expand a woman’s closet, saving her time and money.”  Through its direct sales business model, Etcetera is able to offer couture-level clothes to women at half the price of retail stores. 

Longtime friend of M2Moms(R) and M2W(R) Kelley Skoloda, partner/director, global brand marketing for Ketchum Public Relations, will soon release her first book, Too Busy to Shop:  Marketing to “Multi-Minding” Women and it is already getting great reviews.  Here is the advance review from Publisher’s Weekly:

Too Busy to Shop: Marketing to “Multi-Minding” Women Kelly Murray Skoloda. Greenwood, $34.95 (360p) ISBN 978-0-313-35487-8

If you still consider women a marketing “niche segment,” this book by brand expert Skoloda is a must-read. The author reveals that women not only “control $3.3 trillion in consumer spending,” but also make more than 80% of household purchase decisions and increasingly control this country’s wealth. She asserts that women are far beyond multitasking—they actually “multi-mind”: simultaneously juggle home, family, work, social and financial obligations. In order to reach them, advertisers need to change their tactics, as her research illustrates that these busy women are immune to conventional marketing methods (they routinely Tivo through commercials and are inconvenienced rather than drawn in by new product displays). She presents studies that show women increasingly get shopping advice from friends and family, make purchasing decisions before entering stores and are drawn by “cause connectivity,” a company’s involvement in issues that are meaningful to them. While occasionally repetitive and geared more toward professional marketers than general readers, this book offers a treasure trove of timely insights on how to better understand and engage women consumers.(Mar.)

The book is set to be published March 2009 with an official book launch to be held during the pre-conference reception at the 5th Annual M2W(R)-The Marketing To Women Conference.

Meredith Corporation has announced the launch of the Meredith Women’s Network, the first brand network comprised of premium websites geared toward the topics that matter most to women.  The Meredith Women’s Network, which engages 15 million unique visitors monthly, includes The Better Homes and Gardens® Network (Better Homes and Gardens, Better Recipes and soon-to-launch MixingBowl™), The Parents® Network (Parents, American Baby and Family Circle) and The Real Girls NetworkSM (DivineCaroline®, Fitness, More and Ladies’ Home Journal).  “The new alignment organizes our business according to the passions and affinities of our audience — from her family to her home to her self,” said Lauren Wiener, SVP, Meredith Interactive. “For our marketing and advertising partners, the Meredith Women’s Network allows us to optimize return on an investment across our digital platforms by providing superior brand engagement at tremendous scale.”  Meredith Interactive has made several recent advances to enhance its offerings and capabilities, chiefly in the area of social networking. Through an investment in the Real Girls Media Network in November 2008, Meredith’s network of sites includes which gives Gamma women a space to connect and publish their stories in a way that goes far beyond typical user generated content experiences. Later this month, Meredith will launch MixingBowl (, a social network built entirely around food, recipes and entertaining.  Meredith Corporation ( combines well-known national brands — including Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Ladies’ Home Journal, Family Circle, American Baby, Fitness and More — with local television brands in fast growing markets. Meredith is the industry leader in creating content in key consumer interest areas such as home, family, health and wellness and self-development. Meredith then uses multiple distribution platforms — including print, television, online, mobile and video — to give consumers content they desire and to deliver the messages of its marketing partners.

Meredith Corporation has announced a partnership with Five Star Mattress, a bedding company launched by the owners of Serta, to develop and license a new line of Better Homes and Gardens branded mattresses. “We’ve listened closely to what female consumers are looking for in terms of bedding,” said Donna Zett, president, Five Star Mattress. “Now, more than ever, women want affordability, comfort and quality. This new line delivers on all three fronts.”  The new bedding line will be unveiled at the Las Vegas Furniture Market in February 2009. Product will be available to consumers at furniture and sleep shops nationwide beginning in March.  “These new mattresses are the perfect complement to our branded furniture line and feature Better Homes and Gardens’ signature style, price points that work for American families, and the comfort that will bring them a better night’s rest,” said Elise Contarsy, vice president, brand licensing. “I’m confident women will truly trust and embrace this new extension of the Better Homes and Gardens brand.”  Meredith has worked with several leading companies in the last two years to extend the reach of the Better Homes and Gardens brand. This fall, Meredith and Walmart launched an extensive line of Better Homes and Gardens-branded products for the bedroom, bathroom, dining room and living room. Additionally, a partnership with Universal Furniture to create Better Homes and Gardens branded furniture has been touted as one of the industry’s most successful furniture launches in the last 20 years.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines mentor as a “trusted counselor or guide.”  Mentors can come from various backgrounds and ages, but all share a common goal of sharing their passion with others.  So as the nation celebrates National Mentoring Month, Harley-Davidson is encouraging riders to share their passion for the open road with others through a special mentoring program called Share Your Spark.   Share Your Spark: A Guide to Mentoring is a tool kit the Motor Company developed for current and aspiring riders featuring information on how to be a resource and support system to others during their motorcycling journey.  The mentoring kit includes information for both potential mentors and mentees, including a DVD showcasing tips on how to become or find a mentor, stories from successful mentoring experiences, a special Share Your Spark pin and a planning and reflection guide.  “The mentoring experiences is empowering for both parties involved,” said Leslie Prevish, market outreach manager, Harley-Davidson. “For the mentor, they get to share their passion with someone who aspires to live the same dream they do.  For the mentee, they learn through the collective experiences of their guide.  Of course, the mentoring relationship also leads to many life-lasting friendships.”   Prevish adds that Share Your Spark is not just for women, but the Motor Company’s research indicates many women have expressed their desire to be – and find – a good riding mentor. Over the past several years, women have increasingly embraced the sport of motorcycling – seeking the freedom and adventure associated with the open road, polished chrome and a sweet sounding engine.  In fact, the number of women who have purchased new Harley-Davidson motorcycles has tripled over the past 20 years, with women now accounting for nearly 12 percent of new Harley-Davidson motorcycle purchases.

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