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Friday, March 04, 2005

Martha's Stock Continues to Climb

CNN offers a brilliant timeline that compares milestones in the Stewart Saga against MSLO stock price.

You can see clearly see how things are already ramping up for MSLO.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has already announced plans to have Stewart write a column for the company's flagship Martha Stewart Living magazine. Also filling up her schedule: She's scheduled to star in two television shows next fall and there is talk of plans to launch a clothing line.

And all while wearing an ankle bracelet, folks!

My next Martha prediction:
SOMEONE from Camp Cupcake has probably snagged some of Martha's personal prison items and they will show up on E-Bay within the next week.

Martha Talks?

Martha's wasting no time positioning herself post-prison. In a subtle move, she is funneling all of her post-prison Web announcements to MSLO's Web site. Stewart's Marthatalks Web site shows her Christmas post as the most recent update. While the site may not be updated from this point on, it is a great example of using the Web to rally support. It also serves as an example of Martha's smart pr moves during the trial...perhaps the only smart move. Yes, the CBS salad comment is at the other extreme as her worst PR move.

As you will see below, she is clearly being selective on which elements of her prison sentence to take advantage of. Perhaps she is finally putting some thought into her public relations?

Martha's PR-Fueled Prison Release

She's baaack! Just in time for a weekend of news reports, Ms. Stewart was released late enough last night that it was deemed to be this morning.

This is NOT news. Well, ok, it IS NEWS. But I want to look at the orchestration of this release and the calculated PR efforts designed specifically to make this news.

If you had any doubts that Martha and MSLO wanted to promote her getting out of jail, I submit the fact that MSLO supplied a flat bed truck at the nearby airport from where Stewart would be flying home. Just in case anyone might miss the photo opp, MSLO puts this news out there to get the release back on everyone's radar.

In preparation, the flat-bed truck will be positioned at the Greenbrier Valley Airport near Stewart's minimum-security prison, according to airport manager Jerry O'Sullivan.

But O'Sullivan said the truck will be parked 100 feet from the passenger entrance of Stewart's plane and will be available to television crews on a first-come, first-served basis.

Stewart chose to serve her time early rather than await the outcome of her appeal, which is pending. Stewart has maintained throughout the ordeal that she did nothing wrong.

In announcing her decision to go to prison, Stewart said she wanted to put the scandal behind her. Both her public image and the company's finances had been badly damaged by her legal case and what critics saw as her open defiance.

In hindsight, Stewart may have made the right decision. Legal and marketing experts note that prison has done wonders for her reputation, which appears to have improved in recent months.

Improved? Prison is the best thing that ever happened to her! Here comes Martha, a Phoenix from the flames. I suspect MSLO stock will bump up today and next week we will be hearing a rash of MSLO announcements...at least one big press conference reviewing immediate company plans now that the boss is back.