Person of the Week: Lisa Orman of KidStuff PR
When KidStuff PR founder Lisa Orman started her PR agency 26 years ago, she was becoming a mother for the first time and was faced with educating herself about the many services and products available for children and families. She discovered that many of the most innovative and wonderful products were made by smaller companies, so she decided to dedicate herself to helping these smaller players in the toy & game industry build awareness among consumers via media. That’s still her passion and joy.
Her singular focus on this has paid off for small and medium specialty toy manufacturers and retailers, and dozens of companies attribute some of their success and growth to their partnership with KidStuff PR. Every month KidStuff PR clients grace the pages of top parenting magazines and websites alongside products from industry giants like Mattel, Hasbro and Spinmaster. KidStuff PR clients consistently garner so much media attention that the agency itself makes news.
President Lisa Orman established KidStuff Public Relations in 1994 near Madison, Wis., after securing the public relations account for Zany Brainy. Orman used her past experiences as a writer for the Des Moines Register, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and USA Today to give her a better understanding of when, why and how to successfully pitch to a reporter.
This knowledge helped her form relationships as a publicist with reporters who found her familiarity and respect for the process a breath of fresh air. Along with her experience as a journalist, Orman also spent time as a retail and media strategic marketing consultant, traveling the world to see and learn about the best retail concepts in the marketplace. From this experience, Orman developed expertise in messaging, which she uses to help her clients focus on how they or their products are better or different than others available in the marketplace and declutter their explicit and implicit messages. Her experiences as a mother, journalist, and consultant come together to offer KidStuff PR clients top-notch support and results.
For 10-15 companies at any given time, all with their own separate niche, being a client at KidStuff PR means being part of the family. “Unlike most public relations agencies, I am the person that clients speak with on a day-to-day basis,” Orman explains. “At most agencies the president wins your business and then clients get assigned to an account exec. That’s not the case here.”
Orman has a small team of employees and consultants who help her small business run smoothly. The company still specializes in attaining client coverage in parent-focused consumer media, as well as has developed a well-respected specialty in working with the top vetted 200 mom and dad bloggers in the business for the past eight years. In 2015, Orman added TechStuff PR to service kid’s tech products and apps.
KidStuff PR takes a light-hearted approach to writing, but Orman takes seriously the job of providing reporters with stories about the best products and services for children and families. Every month, she receives dozens of calls from prospective clients but only takes clients for whom she has a true passion, since it helps her do a better job, try harder, and makes work more enjoyable.
In the past year, KidStuff PR clients have been the recipients of more than 300 awards total, including Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Awards, Parents’ Choice Foundation Awards, The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, NAPPA, Mom’s Choice, Academics’ Choice, PAL Awards, Tillywig, Hot Diggity, Toy Insider plus numerous STEM.org-authenticated products. Orman has been featured in PR Week, toy industry publications, was honored twice as a Wonder Woman by Women In Toys, and was featured in Wisconsin Woman magazine.
(Lisa in a bubble!)