Problem: Procter & Gamble (P&G) was planning to introduce a series of new products they expected would revolutionize the way people think about cleaning. P&G had changed customer habits before, most notably in the diaper and hair care categories. But, the latest introductions—Febreze, Swiffer and Dryel—sounded less exciting and many retailers were reluctant to devote much valuable shelf space to unproven brands.

Solution: Generate high profile business media coverage to excite retailers about the sales potential for these new brands. P&G typically did not disclose sales target, however Janice Mandel, then head of External Relations for P&G Canada felt the time was right for a new approach. Briefings with key business reporters were set up with the company’s President. The message focused on how P&G had used innovation to out-develop competitors and was investing $60 million to market new-to-the-world products they expected to generate $150 million in annual sales.

Results: Front page stories featuring all desired messaging appeared in the business section of The Globe and Mail, Financial Post and the front page of the Toronto Star. The story was also picked up broadly on radio. Best of all, the company’s President received several phone calls from customers asking for additional new product inventory. This marked a turning point in how Sales viewed public relations and the role it could play in generating business results.