The price of earned media

1. Read the entire Metro News article.1 Regardless of the accuracy of the facts, what impact, if any, does the article have on dpms.’s reputation? ? 2. Could Phillips have better prepared himself for his interview? Is there anything he could have done to prevent inaccuracies? ? 3. Consider dpms.’s different stakeholders. How might each of these stakeholders interpret the content of the Metro News article? ? tips: stakeholders: existing customers, potential customers and vendors 4. Compare and contrast the pros and cons of asking Metro News to revise the article versus doing nothing. ? tips: identify advantages and disadvantages for both correct the article and doing nothing cases. 5. As Kraft, what would you do to address the article?

Julia Cutt and Professor Mary Wei/ wrote this case solely to provide material for class discussion. The authors do not intend to
illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The authors may have disguised certain names and other
identifying information to protect confidentiality.
This publication may not be transmitted, photocopied, digitized or otherwise reproduced in any form or by any means Without the
permission of the copyright holder. Reproduction of this material is not covered under authorization by any reproduction rights
organization. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, contact lvey Publishing, lvey Business School, Western
University, London, Ontario, Canada, N6G ON 1 ,’ (t) 519.661.3208; (e) [email protected];
Copyright © 2014, Richard lvey School of Business Foundation Version: 2014-08-11
Frustrated, Meghan Kraft, co-founder of London, Ontario lifestyle brand dpms., closed her laptop. Her
original excitement for the article about the company in the April 10, 2014 edition of London’s Metro
newspaper had disappeared. The facts in the article were inaccurate, and Kraft was unhappy with the
choice of quotes. She wondered what action she should take.
The Founders
Meghan Kraft and Daniel Phillips met in London, Ontario in 2011 through mutual friends. Kraft was
studying behavioural science at Western University, while Phillips was enrolled in graphic design at
Fanshawe College. The two soon began dating, and within a year their relationship evolved into a business
partnership as well.
The Business
In the summer of 2012, Kraft and Phillips decided to have one of Phillips’s graphic designs printed on a t-
shirt. They went to the mall and paid to silk-screen two cotton t-shirts. After posting pictures of their
branded shirts online, the pair received more than 50 requests from friends for shirts of their own.
Impressed by this unexpected demand, Kraft and Phillips decided to turn t-shirt design into a summer
business endeavour.
Phillips used his design skills to create graphics, while Kraft offered insights from her experience working
in visual merchandising at both Roots and Aritzia. “dpms.” had been Phillips’s graphic design signature,
and the name stuck for the pair’s new apparel designs.
They started out by ordering t-shirts wholesale from American Apparel and paid to have their designs
printed on the plain shirts. The wholesale price for a t-shirt, on average, was $9.00. For printing, dpms.
paid $2.75 per shirt, plus a design set-up flat fee of $15. The printed t-shirts were then sold for $30. At