Behind the Scenes of a Successful PR Campaign
Updated: Jan 10, 2019
When Emily Berg, the CEO of Matana, an Israeli subscription box company, hired us to launch her company’s PR campaign, I was thrilled. As former members of Femme Founders, a group for women entrepreneurs in Tel Aviv, we used to meet once a month to set goals that would turn our side hustles into the companies of our dreams. Only a few years later, Matana has shipped thousands of boxes with its high-quality Israeli flavors and delicacies to customers around the world.
Now, our goal was to get great media attention for Matana. But first we needed to figure out: What was the news?
Matana first launched in 2015, but a few things had recently changed:
1. They’d changed their name.
2. They’d taken on new partners.
3. They’d grown from a one-woman operation run out of Emily's living room to a bigger company with a warehouse.
But what was newsworthy about the company? Why would journalists care about Matana now?
These were questions that we returned to every single week. As we uncovered new angles, we targeted additional journalists and revamped our pitches.
Check out the angles that stuck -- and all of the media coverage they brought Matana:
The Perfect Holiday Gift
We launched our PR campaign about a month before holiday season -- which was perfect timing for getting a fantastic gift like Matana featured. We tracked down every journalist and publication that covered holiday gift guides last year and reaped the following coverage:
Getting Matana featured in a top publication was a major win. Time Out Israel included Matana in one of its awesome gift-giving guides.
"The subscription boxes contain Israeli-made items, including options like camel-milk soap, za’atar pesto, and anise-flavored wildflower honey."
In The Jewish Week’s delightful Hanukkah gift guide, Matana found itself in good company and was featured right after Ruth Bader Ginsburg-inspired scrunchies and leggings.
“Support the work of Israeli artisans and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Matana (which means gift in Hebrew) is a subscription box service that brings together unusual and socially-conscious offerings from all over Israel."
Matana got a nice mention in the St. Louis Jewish newspaper's gift guide.
“On the subject of Israel, Matana, the Hebrew word for gift, delivers curated gift boxes with items made by artisans and artisan businesses in Israel, from kibbutzim to factories to family-run farms.”
Israeli Entrepreneur & Curator
Emily has had an unlikely path -- leaving Canada and a future career in human rights law to become an Israeli entrepreneur and curator -- and her journey grabbed the attention of exciting publications.
Time Out Israel's Q&A with Emily tapped into her expertise as a curator of Israeli food and products. It was great publicity for Emily -- and for many of Israel’s small artisans. Plus, it was featured both online and in print!
Journalist Deborah Danan wrote a stunning piece about Emily’s fascinating journey for the “Humans of Israel” column in LA’s Jewish newspaper.
“A Birthright trip when she was 18 planted the seeds for her to eventually quit a comfortable life in Toronto – and abort a legal career in the process – to move, but she had no real understanding of Israel and its people. It was only once she started traveling around the country on her own that she encountered the wealth of niche communities the Holy Land has to offer, and eight years on she continues to be surprised.”
Success Story from Canada
Canadian pubs love reporting on their people -- and Canadian Jewish publications are especially excited to cover their own.
Emily grew up with the Canadian Jewish News delivered to her home every week, so this big feature was a dream come true. Their Israel correspondent wrote a beautiful piece about Matana’s mission and Emily’s journey.
“Israel may be a small country, but Matana is dedicated to helping gift box recipients open doors and look inside small communities that are far off the beaten path.”
Another Canadian Jewish publication published a lovely piece about Emily's story and Matana's growth:
“A Toronto native who moved to Israel in 2012, Berg developed the idea for Matana when her then-boyfriend, now husband, was called to serve in reserve duty in Gaza in Operation Protective Edge in 2014. During the tense time, Berg wanted to find a way to showcase Israel’s many sides to a global audience while supporting Israel’s artisans, whose businesses suffered during the conflict.”
Trendy Middle Eastern Food
There’s a surge of Middle Eastern restaurants and cookbooks, and ingredients, like tahini and za’atar, spicing up the American culinary scene. Because Matana delivers these flavors across the globe, we were able to tap into the trend.
A great piece in the Forward's "Eat, Drink + Think" section called Emily "the face of Israel’s small businesses." This piece was also included in the Jewish Insider daily email, which was republished in Ha'aretz!
“You think you understand Israel, you think you’ve seen everything and met every kind of person there is to meet,” she says, “and then out of nowhere there’s this treasure you didn’t know existed.”
A site focused on Israel’s innovations, From the Grapevine called Matana, “the perfect gift for your foodie friends” and captured the incredible tastes and textures that Matana offers in each box.
"For a foodie like me, knowing the foods I’m enjoying have such a rich history takes the culinary experience to a new level. And receiving a box of new and exciting high-quality Israeli treats each month? That’s something everyone on your gift list can appreciate."
With an increasing array of subscription box companies, there are also tons of bloggers writing reviews.
Jill Layton from TechWalla wrote that Matana offers “unique products with inspiring stories.”
Within three months, we ran a successful PR campaign, landing 11 pieces (so far!) and reaching diverse audiences around the world.
Got an amazing company that you think deserves some media attention? I’d love to hear all about it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s schedule a time to chat.