Many brands fail to take advantage building effective public relations into their marketing plans. If they do, a majority fail to execute.
Take for example press kits to tell your unique story to the media. For as many years as I’ve been in the marketing profession, I’m still amazed at how many brands don’t take the time to tell a good story and package it in a way that excites the media who can then effectively excite the brand’s customers.
Here’s a great example of how to use an ‘old school’ press kit to gain media attention and coverage and win an award along the way.
For several years, we’ve been working with a super brand – Idlewild & SoakZone – the oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania and the third oldest in America.
In our certainly biased opinion, it’s one of the best park’s in the world for kids and families and it’s a grand testament to their hard work that now others feel the same way.
After a few years of being ranked ‘Second Best Kid’s Park in the World’ by the readers of Amusement Today Magazine – second to LEGOLAND – the Park finally burst to the top of the rankings and we wanted to shout from the rooftops its accomplishment in a unique way.
NOTE: In Public Relations and marketing in general, if you don’t make a big ‘to do’ about your brand’s news, how do you expect the media or your customers and staff to get excited and amplify your message?
So, recognizing that most media communiques are sent electronically these days, we decided to send an ‘old school’ press kit by mail. And, we packaged the press kit in a way that guarantees it will get opened and demands immediate interest and attention. In addition, because we needed to send the press kit to quite a few media contacts, cost effectiveness was key for our limited budget.
Take a look at the center of the picture above and see the colorful box with balloons on it? Well, we got that box from the good old U.S. Post Office for about $5.00 and it was big enough to carry a typical folder/press kit, an opening day ticket for our media day invitation, several cool items from the seven themed areas of the Park, our #1 foam finger/hand that was used in broadcast media and a FIJI water bottle that we used to promote the Park’s new Wowabunga Family Wave Pool (we stripped off FIJI’s advertising and relabled the bottle with the Wave Pool’s news).
The total cost for the box, chotchkes and mailing was about $25 per media rep and we got tremendous coverage for a Park that’s about a 90 minute drive from Pittsburgh – its closest major market. And, we won recognition from the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
Don’t take for granted the good news and stories that people would love to hear about regarding your company, brand, people and more. And, make sure you package it in such a way to overcome the noise that the media and people get drowned in every day.
Lastly, to paraphrase/quote Seth Godin – if you want people to make ‘REMARK’ about you do REMARKable things!
And, we’re blessed to have such a remarkable client in Idlewild & SoakZone.
Just in time for the annual ‘Season of St. Patrick’ that starts March 1 – and for the ‘Great Guinness Toast‘ that starts tonight at 11:00 p.m. at Irish Pubs throughout the world – we’re proud to report that our launch of a new Website for our good friends at Riley’s Pour House in Carnegie, PA is doing great!
In it’s first 2 ½ days of existence, the page views for Riley’s new Website outperformed the former proprietor’s Website performance for the entire year! Yes, you read that right!
What’s our secret? A little luck of the Irish maybe?
Maybe a little luck – we were lucky to land a great client that’s for sure.
However, far more credit goes to having a good solid brand to promote with good old fashioned hard work, Public Relations, Social Media Marketing integrations and excellent SEO writing inspired by a few pints of Guinness!
Yes my friends, Guinness is good for you!
P.S.: To help you along in March, here’s an old post about the 15 Marketing Lessons of St. Patrick’s Day – enjoy!
For nearly 10 years, we’ve been a supporter of the American Cancer Society and its mission of celebrating more birthdays throughout western Pennsylvania. We’ve participated as a Board Member, Marketing Committee Chairperson and general volunteer.
However, this year is shaping up to be one of our more meaningful, gratifying and fun years as we’ve helped the Pittsburgh Region (New East Central Region) more effectively promote its Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event.
The NFL and locally the Pittsburgh Steelers are huge ‘Strides’ supporters. And a year ago, we proposed the idea of using popular (and future NFL Hall of Famer – if we had a vote) Steelers Hines Ward as an event spokesperson asking people to help, “86 Breast Cancer!” Note: The number 86 is Hines’ number. FYI – to “86 something” means to get rid of or eliminate.
Well, this year the Steelers and Hines agreed and helped the ACS air a unique Public Service announcement with Pittsburgh’s NBC affiliate WPXI-TV and news anchor Peggy Finnegan (a breast cancer survivor) to “86 Breast Cancer” which is what number 86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is striving to do – and encouraging Pittsburghers to do!
Note: Hines and Peggy are joined in this first picture with American Cancer Society Regional Vice President Glenn Callihan.
Over and above the ’86 Breast Cancer” idea, we’ve supported the ACS brand as its Facebook marketing coach, initiated a sponsor meeting with the local Chevrolet Dealer Marketing Group of Pittsburgh (who raised nearly 15% of the total donations to date) and set up a television interview on Pittsburgh CBS affiliate KDKA-TV s Pittsburgh Today LIVE show.
We’re always excited to work alongside brands to help them maximize all of the storytelling opportunities they have available to them and show them the way so they can even do it more effectively themselves. And, they are!
And as a result, I’m happy to report that the American Cancer Society’s 2nd annual Pittsburgh Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk held on October 29, 2011 on Pittsburgh’s North Shore (just outside of Heinz Field) involved more than 3,000 walkers and helped raise nearly $300,000 – nearly twice the amount raised in 2010.
Participants included teams from Western Pennsylvania corporations, businesses and organizations that formed Making Strides teams, as well as participation from individuals, including breast cancer survivors, family members and friends.
Of course, the fight is not over yet! Donations will continue to be accepted in order to help the American Cancer Society reach their fundraising goal. Donations can still be made online at cancer.org/stridesonline or by calling 1.888.227.5445.
Proceeds from Making Strides Against Breast Cancer support the American Cancer Society’s life-saving breast cancer research, education, advocacy, patient services, and community partnership grants for women in Pittsburgh.
Next to having your own baby, it’s got to be right up there in terms of great days if you love marketing and public relations like we do!
There’s just nothing like holding a special exciting event to kickoff a brand’s ‘NEW NEWS!”
And, it truly comes down to what YOU make of it.
Public Relations is an art that’s not practiced enough in our opinion for lots of reasons.
The biggest reason is because it’s hard work and most people don’t like to “bring it” and put the time in that’s necessary to do an exceptional job.
The second big reason is that the majority of brands are simply boring and adequate and have no interesting stories to tell. What a shame.
We’re honored to work with lots of great brands such as our good friends at the Priory Hospitality Group.
And, when they asked us to help them kick off the grand opening of their new wing we jumped at the opportunity.
In the picture above, we had all of the key people responsible for getting the Priory Hotel’s new wing open for business such as co-owners and operators John and Suzanne Graf, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, key employees and the architect, builder and interior designer.
The $2.7 million expansion of The Priory added 17 rooms, a 70 percent expansion of the hotel’s capacity. Located in the Deutschtown section of the North Side, the hotel expanded into a building leveled by fire two years earlier.
We kept all of these key figures and media appraised of the opening event far in advance with our custom “Countdown to Go” grand opening list and started months ahead of the event to make sure we didn’t miss a detail and to ensure that our execution was flawless.
We achieved widespread media coverage in Pittsburgh’s major daily and community newspapers and all television networks.
And, as important, we earned the continued respect, endorsement and marketing partnership from the Priory and the Graf family.
It appeared on the front page of the Local News Section of the paper and is just one of several pieces of media coverage we earned.
As you prepare for 2012, think about the meaningful stories you can share with your local media and customers.
If you don’t have any, get to work on some. If you do, start planning – well in advance – to show and tell them!