Ah Love Oil & Vinegar
October 2012 // 2013
Ah Love Oil & Vinegar is a gourmet artisanal olive oil and balsamic vinegar shop that opened its doors in the Shirlington Village in June 2011. When CF PR began the public relations campaign for the shop and its owner Cary Kelly in March 2012 the shop and Cary had never been included in any print, online, or television stories about the growing market for high-end gourmet products.
Our first goal was to introduce Cary and the shop to local media, targeting areas of potential buyers for more expensive culinary goods. We also sought to explain how the different infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars in Ah Love Oil & Vinegar could give meals tons of flavor without much of the fat and preservatives.
Second, we sought to establish Cary as an expert in artisanal foods and health. Once Cary opened her second Ah Love shop in the new Mosaic District in Merrifield, we capitalized on the news about food fraud and the benefits of the Mediterranean diet as topics Cary was able to address to a national audience.
Spring, Summer, and Fall 2012
Ah Love Oil & Vinegar was a popular shop in the Village of Shirlington with an excited and loyal clientele. Our first goal was to introduce Cary to the local television audience and show how different olive oils and balsamic vinegars could be used for more than just to dip bread and for salad dressings. We sought programs that appealed to higher income women; often stay at home moms, or women with home offices, who could afford the more expensive extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars in Ah Love Oil & Vinegar.
Cary had never been on television before so we worked with the producers on the segment topics and then wrote simple talking points to answer any of the anchors questions. We began with this segment on the Newschannel 8’s Let’s Talk Live, a midday lifestyle talk program, to show how olive oil and balsamic vinegar could be used in an entire meal in a healthy, preservative-free way.
Building a comprehensive list of local television reporters and producers that are interested in food-related stories led us to NBC4 Nonstop Foodies, where reporter Eun Yang came to Ah Love’s Shirlington shop and was able to sample a variety of baked goods and a balsamic drink. The Nonstop segments air once on and then air for six weeks on NBC4’s Nonstop channel. This was a great way to showcase the Shirlington shop and learn about a way to use Ah Love’s products in a way the average consumer might not realize.
By the fall, Cary had made three appearances on NBC4, four on Newschannel 8, once on WUSA9’s midday show with JC Hayward, and on the popular local food radio show Foodie and The Beast. While we still wanted to focus on local media, Cary’s vast knowledge of the gourmet food industry and her natural writing talents led us to apply for her to become a Huffington Post blogger in their Food and Taste sections.
Our 2012 campaign was capped off with a great mention of Ah Love’s recently opened second shop in Merrifield with a quote from Cary in The New York Times.
We assisted with event planning and promotion for in-store events, including invitations and making sure the public events are listed on popular local calendars. CSC PR currently manages the Ah Love Oil & Vinegar Facebook page and twitter account (where the amount of likes and followers has more than doubled since we took over).
By 2013 we sought more print coverage and national media for Ah Love Oil & Vinegar beginning with an interview with Jim Shahin’s article about smoked olive oil in the Washington Post.
Additionally, we are always looking for ways to show the consumer that olive oil has many uses. We successfully pitched Mintlife.com to include olive oil and tips from Cary in their story “25 Household Uses for Food”.
With the simultaneous news about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and accusations of fraud in mass produced olive oil, we were able to leverage Cary as an expert in this field. This included an on-camera interview with NBC4’s consumer reporter Liz Crenshaw, an hour long appearance on the venerable Kojo Nnamdi Show, and an on-air olive oil tasting with Bill Press on his nationally syndicated radio show which is also simulcast on Current TV.
In our yearlong campaign, CF PR has not only executed a media campaign for Ah Love Oil and Vinegar shops, but Cary Kelly is now an established expert on the topic of food fraud. Exposure like this not only gained Cary publicity, but it increased the coverage in lifestyle, hard news, and cultural media on the topic. Our goals as we continue working with Cary Kelly and Ah Love Oil & Vinegar is a larger national reach for the products and Cary and placements on additional “Best Of” lists in local popular magazines.