Consumer Event Engages Local Market for Record-Breaking Crowd

Veracity provided the Lewis & Clark Cat Show with PR and Facebook marketing services the month leading up to the show. Coverage was secured on all four TV networks (ABC, NBC, CBS & FOX), two radio stations and both local newspapers/news websites. The PR broadcast value alone is estimated at $18,846* from the 11+ stories that were landed, representing a 1,785% return on investment (ROI).

Additionally, the target goal of reaching 135,000 people via Facebook was exceeded by 37%.

Most importantly, the aggressive goal of attracting 1,000 attendees was surpassed by 40%. The 1,400 attendees resulted in an ROI 180% and an estimated increase of 211% in tickets sold, resulting in a 289% increase in ticket revenue, from the previous year.

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Increase in Tickets Sold from Previous Year

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Ticket Sales ROI

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TV Networks Covering the Show

Event PR Execution

The event PR focused on driving attendance through two main sources:

  1. Pre-show event listings via online & print media
  2. Show set-up and day-of-show features in broadcast, print & online media

As a result, coverage was earned in several online news sites, both local newspapers, all four local television stations and two radio stations. To earn online & print media coverage, pitches and follow-up phone calls were made to media contacts, outlining the event details with photos of the event from previous years.

Pitching to broadcast media was more time-sensitive, as our plan was to earn coverage on the day before and days of the show. Two days before the show, pitches highlighting the visuals of the set-up (cats on the move!) were provided to the news desks. Calls were then made, ensuring that the pitches were received and would be discussed at the stations’ next-day morning meetings. Once we knew cameras were on the way, we headed on-site to prepare our spokesperson, as well as host each station that came.

Now that the TV stations were covered, we made certain the local newspapers would run something. The photographer came to the event on day 1 of 2, and their photos and write-up were published on the website later that afternoon, with the print version released on the morning of day 2.

Facebook Engagement & Advertising

Some say that cats rule the internet. We tested that theory with targeted Facebook engagement and advertising campaigns. The goal of the campaign was to reach an aggressive 135,000 potential Cat Show attendees in the two weeks leading up to the event. This may not seem like a daunting task if you have a big following already and/or a big budget. We had neither. In fact, the Facebook page for the organization had barely more than 100 “Likes” when we started, and a “Total Reach” of less than 500 the previous month.

The posting and advertising strategy was to create general posts about the event (including video and slideshow content), specific posts about the most popular breeds featured at the show and to prominently feature the benefiting charity. Then we created custom advertising audiences for many of the posts.

For the general posts about the event, we created several “cat lover” audiences within the geographic location of the event (specifically Portland, however some of our messaging was even more granular based on neighborhood and Facebook targeting) and tweaked the audiences based on performance. For example, we started targeting men and women, but found out very quickly that women were far more engaged than men. We found similar results in regards to “Device Type” targeting and shifted more budget to “Mobile Only.” Instagram also performed quite well, so we shifted more budget there.

In order to make sure the Persian Shorthair lover saw their favorite feline, we created targeted posts and audiences for the most popular breeds that were going to be at the event. This resulted in some pretty amazing engagement including:

  • $0.04 Cost per 3-Second Video View and 20.39% Result Rate
  • $0.01 Cost per 3-Second Video View and 39.70% Result Rate
  • $0.01 Cost per 3-Second Video View and 37.26% Result Rate
  • $0.06 Cost per Post Engagement and 13.73% Result Rate
  • $0.10 Cost per Post Engagement and 12.95% Result Rate

In general, all of the measured metrics surpassed our goals and the client’s expectations.

*Based on estimates, the standard calculated publicity value takes the calculated ad equivalency and multiplies it by a factor of three. The 3rd party editorial factor is a calculation used by the Public Relations Society of America to account for the credibility of editorial content over advertisements. Industry standards range from x3 to x5. Veracity uses a conservative x3 rate.

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Mike Rosenberg
CEO at Veracity
Mike Rosenberg is CEO at Veracity. He brings experience and passion from two distinct, yet similar, career paths in sports business marketing and online marketing. Mike shares his marketing expertise as an Advisory Board Member and Past President of SEMpdx, a professional business organization for the digital marketing industry.