November 19, 2002
PGI's Hudson Resigns; JIC Hires Media Liaison
Changes are afoot at two large U.S. jewelry industry trade groups, as one loses a leader and another adds a new staff member.
Laurie Hudson, the founding president of Platinum Guild International's U.S. office, stepped down to spend more time with her family and pursue what she calls "exciting new opportunities." Separately, the Jewelry Information Center appointed Helena Krodel as its new media liaison to stimulate consumer desire for fine jewelry.
Hudson created the platinum office in 1992 to increase U.S. awareness and demand for platinum. She used a combination of tactics, including consumer ad campaigns and public relations outreach. Hudson worked to inspire jewelers to sell platinum with high-profile fashion shows at the JCK Show in Las Vegas and in-store gala parties, as well as through sales training and product education programs. On a technical level, Hudson hired platinum bench experts to retrain U.S. bench jewelers how to work with a metal that hadn't been used widely since their grandfathers were at the bench.
The all-points campaign worked. In the 10 years since the U.S. office opened, domestic platinum demand increased more than 1,500%. Platinum is now the acknowledged metal of choice for bridal rings. Other initiatives to promote items such as platinum hearts have also captured public attention.
In a letter to colleagues, Hudson said the 10 remaining members of the PGI-USA team will be led in the interim by Frank Proctor, vice president, and will continue to develop programs and initiatives to boost U.S. platinum jewelry demand. PGI announced recently a platinum celebrity hearts campaign for Valentine's Day 2003.
JIC's appointment, Helena Krodel, is formerly of Goldstein Communications, and has promoted high-end jewelry, watches, fashion, accessories and beauty products, working with the top fashion magazines and newspapers across the U.S.
Krodel has achieved editorial readership in the millions for past clients, says JIC. She also has experience in planning special events, retail store openings, public appearances and runway shows. Her media planning included national and regional television tours, styling fashion/lifestyle segments and writing radio announcements. Krodel is also well versed in strategic marketing, brand building, Web-site creation and cross-promotion, says JIC.
"After a long and thorough search for a media liaison, we have unearthed a gem," says Elizabeth Florence, JIC executive director. As media liaison, Krodel will be a JIC spokesperson alongside Florence. Through its work with the print and broadcast media, JIC reaches close to 700 million American consumers each year.
by Peggy Jo Donahue