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.
Increase in Tickets Sold from Previous Year
Ticket Sales ROI
TV Networks Covering the Show
Event PR Execution
The event PR focused on driving attendance through two main sources:
Pre-show event listings via online & print media
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.
Refreshed look, design and infrastructure for Hallmark Inns & Resorts
Hallmark Inns & Resorts has two locations on the Oregon Coast: Hallmark Resort & Spa Cannon Beach and Hallmark Resort Newport. Both properties recently had major renovations completed in the hotel rooms, common areas and event spaces. However, the website hadn’t been touched in years.
Armed with the refreshed brand, logo and marketing creative that we’d just created for them–it was now time to give new life to the website.
In addition to a refreshed look and better user experience, a primary goal of the redesign was to maintain organic search traffic (we’d typically have the goal of increased SEO presence with a redesign, but we do not handle SEO for this client, so the goal was to maintain). We managed to not only sustain traffic and conversion rates, but to dramatically increase them.
From the graphics below you can see the significant improvements as we compare traffic and revenue changes on a year-over-year (YOY) comparison and separately looking at the previous 90 days prior to launch of the new site.
Market leader develops new niche at industry’s biggest event
Bergstrom Nutrition (Bergstrom) manufactures methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) which is a nutritional supplement that helps alleviate joint pain. Bergstrom’s product — OptiMSM® — is sold to finished product manufactures who incorporate it into various bars, drinks, gels, tablets and powders that are then sold to the consumer.
Bergstrom recognized a natural progression from the joint health arena into the sports nutrition realm. An extensive study showed that MSM helps reduce muscle soreness after increased exercise or new activities (otherwise known as “exercise recovery”). It was evident that Bergstrom could fill a void in a new demographic.
Our strategy was to hold this new information until the week before the industry’s biggest trade show of the year which brings together suppliers and buyers that drive the dietary supplement, food, beverage, personal care and cosmetic marketplace. This campaign opened the door to a new market while creating exciting news to engage with new and current customers.
Specific results included:
Bergstrom gained two new large sports nutrition clients who have since created new products with OptiMSM.
Four pre-show articles that the client was directly quoted in.
Five additional follow up articles.
We continue to respond to requests from press interested in Bergstrom’s new venture into the sports nutrition category.
In the dietary supplement/sports nutrition world, where product development cycles can range from one to three years, we can state that we are enjoying success immediately following the campaign. We have more meetings scheduled with new prospects — one of them with the world’s largest dietary supplement retailer.
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Bergstrom Nutrition
Exposure and promotion brings 258% increase in sales
Veracity developed and executed a public relations strategy for Oregon Growers & Shippers’ (OGS) new condiment called Fruit Paté. We pitched national print and online media to feature the product during its release.
The campaign resulted in many successes; however one earned media placement enabled us to very specifically measure the results. The Fruit Patés were featured in Cooking Light magazine (valued at nearly $100,000 in calculated publicity value) and CookingLight.com. The placement included a discount exclusively for Cooking Light readers. This specific, trackable discount provided us with the ability to partially measure the impact of the coverage. OGS realized a minimum 258% increase in sales during the promotion. Valuable product and brand exposure as well as additional sales without the provided discount were also realized as a result of this campaign.
“I always have a good experience working with Veracity. This specific effort was a great success in which we definitely saw an increase in sales.”
Co-founder, Oregon Growers & Shippers
 Comparing sales during the promotion using the discount code, versus the month prior and immediately following the magazine article.
Public Relations Case Study: PR Coverage Increases Sales 50%
Clackamas Federal Credit Union, Habitat for Humanity & On The Go With Joe
Summary: it’s wonderful to get a lot of TV coverage and the below numbers may be impressive, however membership numbers from the credit union paint the true picture of what happens when you combine a solid community relations campaign with public relations. In the month following the coverage, Clackamas Federal Credit Union (Clackamas) experienced a 50% increase in new accounts than what they historically experience during that time period.
Molalla is a small, growing community where Clackamas Federal Credit Union (Clackamas) was actively seeking to grow its membership and deepen relationships. Because it is about 40 miles outside of Portland’s city center, we knew that marketing through traditional earned media methods would be tough (because it’s typically too far away for a reporter based in Portland to travel to) but necessary to reach this demographic.
We needed a strong campaign that would generate broad-reaching media to make a lasting impact on the community of Molalla. We strategically sought a partnership with a notable charity that would truly change lives in the town; choosing to partner with Habitat for Humanity to help build a house in Molalla. With community involvement being one of Clackamas’ core principles — combined with the fact that the media loves a good human interest story — this partnership was a home-run.
Working with Habitat represented a strong public relations opportunity to show employees giving their time and energy to make a difference. In addition to newspaper coverage with the local newspaper, (Molalla Pioneer), Clackamas recognized the campaign had potential to appeal to media outside of Molalla and sought television coverage from a TV station based in Portland.
Unless it is real news, most television markets will not run stories their competitors have already ran. Therefore, we strategically targeted morning show coverage with a reporter that would give us the most on-air time possible and have a strong following: Joe “V” with Good Day Oregon on KPTV (the FOX affiliate in Portland).
Convincing the reporter to drive all the way out to Molalla as early as 4 a.m. would be no easy task. Not only would we need to paint the visual aspects necessary to resonate with television, we needed to appeal to the human interest side of the story and offer real actions that he could partake in (again, television is visual!). We also needed to provide him with solid ideas for his live segments that aired approximately three times each hour during the show’s four-hour timespan.
The pitch to the reporter detailed the above mentioned necessities, segment ideas included:
Getting a hammer in the reporter’s hand — letting him actually help “build” the home on live television.
Showing Clackamas employees volunteering their time — providing both a visual element and a demonstration of a company culture works as a team to give back.
Profiling the person that would be a new homeowner because of the assistance that Habitat and Clackamas jointly provided — offering a human-interest angle that journalists love while humanizing what could be seen as a typical donation/volunteer effort by a community entity (Clackamas).
The reporter was enticed through creative writing in an email format that laid out all of the above, along with follow up phone calls. With the morning show booked, now we needed to deliver on what was pitched and provide content that would make for good television to further our relationship with this reporter, while deepening our roots in Molalla.
We worked closely with the reporter ahead of time to plan the 9 live segments he would cover during the morning of the television shoot. We then organized interviews with the charity (Habitat), new homeowners, and Clackamas representative (CFO, Andrew Vahrenkamp). Each interviewee was carefully prepped ahead of time — even if they were not with Clackamas — to not only put key talking points in place, but to ensure everyone was comfortable, creating a smooth, stress-free morning.
It was very important to the reporter that we show an active site with a large group of volunteers building the home. This task was initially intimidating because with any ordinary organization, getting employee participation early in the morning would have been difficult. But it was surprisingly stress-free with Clackamas. Community involvement is one of Clackamas’ core principles, so a large number of staff volunteers showed up on time and in high spirits — resulting in a fun and rewarding experience for all. Of course everyone was wearing a Clackamas shirt, furthering our brand reach.
One hiccup in the planning stage that could have cancelled the entire television shoot occurred when Habitat raised the concern of noise disrupting the neighborhood since building would happen from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. The last thing any of us wanted to do was annoy the neighbors and make a bad impression! Therefore, we worked closely with Habitat to choose activities with the most minimal amount of noise disruption.
The broadcast coverage resulted in 9 live segments on Good Day Oregon on KPTV-FOX (local FOX affiliate), a segment on MORE Good Day Oregon and coverage on the Five O’Clock, Six O’Clock and 10 O’Clock news. According to the news monitoring service, Your News, Inc., the coverage was worth the following:
$119,583 in calculated publicity equivalent
$39,862 in calculated advertising equivalent
Over 24 minutes of on-air time generated through public relations
While the above numbers may be impressive, membership numbers from the credit union paint the true picture of what happens when you combine a solid community relations campaign with public relations. In the month following the coverage, Clackamas experienced a 50% increase in new accounts than what they historically experience during that time period. More specifically, with the coverage running on 7/16/12, 209 new accounts were opened from 7/16/12 – 8/16/12, while during that time the previous year (7/16/11 – 8/16/11), 139 new accounts were opened.
Additionally, a story and photo ran in the local paper (Molalla Pioneer) and the paper’s website —furthering our goal to reach that community specifically.
“PR is the best money we’ve spent on marketing period. We landed a ton of business directly from the article and are still getting calls!”
– John Ganey, Co-CEO of Logical Position
Clients and prospective clients often ask us how we can measure the results of PR campaigns. Of course there are a ton of variables to take into account when answering this question. The first response is…it depends. It depends on what is important to each client, it depends on what we are measuring, it depends how we are measuring success, it depends on sales cycles, it depends, it depends, it depends…
Our client Logical Position was featured on the cover of the Business section of the Oregonian last week and as a digital marketing firm they have sophisticated analytic and track conversions thoroughly. So when their feature article hit, they not only got congratulatory calls from family, friends and associates, but also many inbound client inquiries that they can directly attribute to our Public Relations efforts. It is too early to have a direct ROI from this one article, but we will (and no doubt publish a case study to prove it).