Giving a Startup Its Legs With Strategically Timed Media Coverage
Louise J. Wannier
Founder & CEO, MyShape
Innovative online fashion retailer myShape® (www.myshape.com) came to Carla before the ink was even dry on the logo design. The company faced the common startup dilemma of carefully balancing the need for site traffic and funding as the technology is perfected over time
– while avoiding the dangers of too much too soon. The founders also set out to introduce the importance of body shape into a woman’s clothes-buying decisions – quite a communications challenge within the entrenched fashion industry.
Carla and her team played a crucial role in the development of the company from Day One. Carla Sameth even became a co-founder, participating in the company’s early stage strategic planning prior to launch. The first official address used for MyShape was the iMinds PR Office. In fact, PR was instrumental in helping MyShape reach critical early milestones. A story that Carla helped shepherd to fruition in the Los Angeles Times, along with subsequent coverage that appeared before the company began selling clothing, helped MyShape pull together the funding and resources needed to properly launch the company.
Additional coverage included significant stories in major national consumer, fashion and business media, including Women’s Wear Daily, The New York Times, Real Simple, Good Morning America, Oprah Magazine, Newsweek, “Ten Years Younger,” a variety of local and national broadcast, and much more.
In a number of cases, key business partnerships, designers and investors were brought on board directly as a result of the stellar PR on the company.
MyShape’s early membership growth was spurred entirely by public relations initiatives and word of mouth. By employing a strategic approach that garnered national press attention and significant industry partnerships as the company was ready, Carla and her team helped MyShape reach more than 600,000 members within just a few years.