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BBMG's New Division Joins Social Conversations with Sustainability for Maximum Authenticity and Impact

PR/social media practice is the first to co-create campaigns using consumer input and editorial expertise

Submitted by: BBMG

Categories: Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Oct 05, 2011 – 11:21 AM EST


NEW YORK, Oct. 05 /CSRwire/ - BBMG today announces the launch of a PR and social media division that leverages the firm’s deep expertise in sustainability and the unmatched power of New Consumers. With its new list of services—including social media campaigns, content marketing, blogger and media relations and community management—BBMG becomes the first agency to co-create strategic communications programs using input from both New Consumers and outside editorial experts.

BBMG’s extensive research shows that New Consumers—the 30 percent of U.S. shoppers uniting practicality with purpose—are the essential bridge for green brands looking to go mainstream, and for large brands hoping to incorporate sustainability in an authentic way. These savvy shoppers are twice as likely to try new things, share their opinions online and reward or punish brands based on corporate practices.

“We now live in the age of radical transparency, and more consumers are asking ‘What am I buying into?’” says BBMG founding partner Mitch Baranowski. “When it comes to connecting sustainable brands with these consumers, authenticity is paramount. We already take an integrated approach to designing our branding and marketing programs, so it’s a natural extension to launch a dedicated PR and social media practice that combines our green marketing experience with our tremendous network of reporters, editors, bloggers and related nonprofits.”

Focus: Social + Sustainable
With an eye on co-creativity, BBMG’s new division incorporates several unique tools and tactics for a far greater sphere of influence than found in traditional agencies.

The Collective. Campaigns are enhanced by BBMG’s private online community, The Collective. Since April 2010, The Collective has allowed BBMG to connect and converse with New Consumers who’ve contributed more than 75,000 ideas on behalf of clients such as Seventh Generation, Bonterra Vineyards and Lotus Foods. Itself an example of social media innovation, The Collective is an interactive platform for co-creating and validating effective, authentic campaigns.

The Board. The Board is BBMG’s exclusive advisory panel of prominent editors, writers and bloggers in various sectors, from lifestyle editors and sustainable business reporters to Mommy bloggers and tech writers. This invaluable roundtable gathers quarterly to discuss industry news, forecast trends, sound-check initiatives and brainstorm creative solutions.

The Network. BBMG’s PR and social media clients also benefit from the agency’s vast network of partners, social entrepreneurs and nonprofit allies. This network includes a diverse cross-section of trend-setting organizations, from certifiers like Fair Trade USA and B Lab to trusted advocates like Ocean Conservancy, Green America and the National Environmental Education Foundation.

The Green Room. The new service arm is also set apart by its content marketing capabilities, evidenced by “The Green Room,” BBMG’s popular Web series featuring interviews with today’s leading eco-preneurs.

Leadership: Veteran Gina Masullo Will Direct Practice
Gina Masullo joins BBMG as senior vice president and group director, tasked with heading growth and day-to-day operations of the PR and social media practice. With more than a decade of communications experience, Masullo was most recently president of Word Count Communications: a boutique consultancy providing media relations, content production, crisis communications and social-media strategy to businesses in the food, hospitality and social-good sectors. A former writer and editor turned NYC spokesperson and publicity guru for clients like Starwood Hotels & Resorts and SoulCycle, Masullo has a special knack for scoring earned media—whether that’s with influential social-media platforms, blogs, TV programs or traditional print outlets.

She’s backed by a team of content producers and strategists who use editorial techniques like trend forecasting to place clients ahead of the news cycle. The division is further strengthened by the larger team of designers, brand strategists and technologists who populate BBMG’s studio.

Says Masullo: “Shifting behaviors and driving impact requires much more than retweets and Facebook contests. Successful campaigns call for a new type of conversation—one that incorporates transparency, media savvy and a commanding knowledge of the issues at hand, plus a dedication to continued engagement. For consumers to care, it definitely has to be an ongoing conversation.”

Tactics provided by BBMG’s new service arm include:

  • Message development, media training and crisis communications
  • Social media strategy and design, from custom Facebook tabs to mobile applications
  • Influencer and consumer engagement via various social media platforms and viral campaigns
  • Community management
  • Ambassador campaigns and movement building
  • Multimedia content production from professional-quality webisodes and optimized blog series to fully designed microsites and promotional materials
  • Media relations and earned-media placement across all mediums
  • Affinity campaigns and strategic partnerships
  • Events and promotions
  • Trend forecasting, opinion audits and co-creativity

Little-known fact: BBMG was initially founded, in 2003, as a public relations consultancy, drawing on its co-founders’ communications experience. Mitch Baranowski played strategic roles at American Airlines, Edelman Public Relations and Burson-Marsteller while Raphael Bemporad wrote speeches for Texas Governor Ann Richards and served as press secretary to several politicians before becoming communications director of Do Something.

Though the firm soon shifted focus to brand identity and innovation, it continues to garner buzz and excel at communications (as evidenced by its award-winning reports and white papers). The new PR and social media division comes in response to recent client requests for advice on sparking conversations and word-of-mouth buzz with brand ambassadors and the media.

“Creating and maintaining The Collective has helped us become experts in identifying, recruiting and maintaining an active, engaged online community,” says Bemporad. “Our similarly disruptive approach to public relations means our campaigns will be co-created and authenticated by the very consumers our clients need to reach most. We believe that’s a very powerful differentiator.”

About BBMG
With studios in New York and San Francisco, BBMG is a nationally recognized brand innovation firm dedicated to creating innovative brands that engage and inspire today’s increasingly conscious consumers. By integrating branding and marketing with sustainability, technology and social purpose, BBMG helps organizations embrace innovation, forge new markets, create new experiences and drive real culture change. Recent clients include Walmart, Bonterra Vineyards, Earthbound Farm, Seventh Generation, Clif Bar & Co. and Fair Trade USA. More at

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