You may have read the announcement from the woman herself on her blog. Maybe you
saw an item on a celebrity gossip blog. Perhaps you saw her on “The Today Show,”
or read one of the many write-ups about her “Today Show” appearance.
Or maybe you found out via the comedians who took the opportunity to poke fun at the 71-year-old’s online quest for love. Conan O’Brien decided to spice up Stewart’s profile and
“Saturday Night Live” offered up a Match.com parody ad.
For its part, though, Match doesn’t seem to be doing anything of the sort. Its Facebook page has nothing about
Stewart, the company has issued no press releases about her, and its blog
hasn’t updated since April 29, the day Stewart announced she was joining the site. That April 29 post isn’t about Stewart, either. It’s a couple’s success
The only word from Match would appear to be a comment from the company’s chief executive, Sam Yagan, in which he told NBC that Stewart “is one of the
most popular members ever to join Match.” Her profile got 20,000 views and 1,000 messages in a week.
Why isn’t Match seizing the moment? Shel Holtz of Holtz Communication + Technology says it may be because Stewart can be a bit of a polarizing figure,
given her conviction on insider trading charges about 10 years ago.
“Letting others talk about it may be a wise approach,” he says. “The audience that likes Stewart may not be the audience Match wants to reach.”
PR consultant Deanna Ferrari says she initially thought Match’s apparent inaction was a mistake, but then she decided linking itself too closely to Stewart
may not fulfill its long-term goals. As Holtz said, the audience it wants to reach may not be Stewart’s audience.
“Is a 20- or 30-something more likely to join Match if 71-year-old Martha Stewart joined, too?” Ferrari asks. “Maybe not. Match—compared to competitors
like eHarmony—seems young, more fun and trendy to me. Martha is down with the trends, but I think Match is doing just fine attracting young people to go on
dates and go to their singles events.”
Mark Arena of the blog The PR Verdict says now just isn’t the time to be playing the story up too big.
“If both Martha and Match make big noise about it, and then 12 months later Martha is still single and dateless, then Match.com has taken a hit it didn’t
need to take,” he says. “In this case, the PR should come when she finds the suitor of her choice. Before then, a low-key PR approach is better.”
Whatever the case, the company seems to be consistent in its approach to the Stewart news. Match.com didn’t respond to a Ragan.com request for comment.
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