21 Case Study: FoundedByHer

Stacy’s Pita Chips is a female-founded brand that has long prided itself on promoting women and female entrepreneurs through their Stacy’s Rise project. In 2020, when Stacy’s was trying to figure out how to best support female entrepreneurs in the pandemic, they started with research. The brand commissioned a nationwide survey of female business owners, asking what support they needed. What they found through their research would result in a hugely successful, nationwide PR campaign: FoundedByHer.

Stacy’s found that female entrepreneurs often didn’t advertise that their organization was female-founded. However, Stacy’s also found that over 40 percent of consumers would be more likely to purchase a product or service from a female-founded business. Based on these findings, the Stacy’s Rise project invested in a campaign called FoundedByHer. They partnered with Reese Witherspoon’s media company, Hello Sunshine, to feature 10 extraordinary female founders and launched an online directory that allows consumers to find female-founded businesses near them.

The results of this campaign? Applications to the Stacy’s Rise project increased by 300 percent, meaning more female entrepreneurs were able to access important financial support. Additionally, FoundedByHer resulted in 814 million earned media impressions, garnering important support for female-founded businesses and creating positive sentiment toward the Stacy’s brand.[1]

This case study shares one example of how important research is to public relations. Research sets the stage for the ‘RACE’ public relations process that you’ve learned about in this textbook: Research, Action Planning, Communication, Evaluation. Sometimes, you might find it tempting to ignore the research phase and move directly to action planning. However, as the case study shows, the research phase can often provide important and unexpected insights. These insights can guide creative strategy and lead to effective and successful public relations activities.

  1. Stacy’s Rise Project: FoundedByHer. Silver Anvil Award. 2022. Public Relations Society of America Inc. https://apps.prsa.org/SearchResults/Download/6BW-1632533/0/Stacy_s_Rise_Project_FoundedByHer


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