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Community Engagement

Engaging and empowering every-day consumers all around us…

D.A.R.E. America

With a focus on teaching students safe decision-making choices regarding drugs and alcohol, D.A.R.E. America, a non-profit organization, introduced a new, prevention curricula for grades K-12 classrooms, that confronts the opioid and prescription drug abuse crisis. In kicking off the curricula, the agency worked closely with individual D.A.R.E. officers, training them to become spokespeople for the program and working with them to become informed speakers as they interfaced with their local media. Additionally, they were tasked with publishing articles in trades, as well as OpEds in their local media, which always focused on the urgency of the problem and the need to educate on prevention. The agency created a national Public Service Announcement for television and radio, distributed to the many markets all over the country that were most impacted by the opioid crisis.

The Race to 2028

USA Triathlon

In anticipation of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, USA Triathlon became the first sport to begin preparations and training for the Games. As such, the team sought out the agency to build enthusiasm for their first Los Angeles-area race, the Legacy Triathlon. The agency promoted USA Triathlon’s news that it will launch a series of annual races in Long Beach on the very site of the future Olympic course – where the next generation of Olympians will be presented.

The agency facilitated several partners and supporters, including the City of Los Angeles and the City of Long Beach, and brought local, national and international media attention to the unveiling of the Legacy Triathlon, while also streaming to an online audience through Facebook Live.

Advocating for a Legacy

Bob Hope USO

As LAX and the City of Los Angeles began work on a massive multi-year capital renovation project, it was uncertain what would become of the Bob Hope USO LAX center. Servicing more than 100,000 members of the military a year, the center has become a flagship of Bob Hope USO and an important place for service members to rest and eat while traveling.

Working on behalf of Bob Hope USO, the agency initiated a long-term community-awareness campaign to build grassroots support for the center and to attract volunteers to help with its 24-7 operation. The agency coordinated media days around news cycles that focus on the military, such as Veteran’s Day, Military Appreciation Week, and Memorial Day with in-depth feature broadcasts touring the facility and driving interest in volunteering for the center.

A VIP Experience for Blockbuster Weekends

Moviebill

When Moviebill launched the first-ever entertainment magazine for moviegoers to coincide with the summer blockbuster season, it sought out the agency to get the word out as to the uniqueness of the experience. The magazine afforded movie goers with exclusive content for the film they were seeing and included Augmented Reality features so that moviegoers could bring the content to life with their smartphones. Piggybacking on the timing of the launch, the agency set out to capture the attention of three industry media sectors: entertainment, business, and advertising. Media outlets such as MediaPost, Entertainment Weekly, and Adweek covered the story from several angles and helped propel enthusiasm.

When MovieBill kicked off with Avengers: Infinity War and then Jurassic World, it delivered 1 million copies to moviegoers at Regal Theaters, making it one of the highest circulated entertainment magazines in the country and marking the largest theatrical handout ever.

Kick Axe-Throwing Venue Opens in Brooklyn

Kick Axe

When a 7,000-square-foot axe-throwing venue, Kick Axe, opened to the public in the New York Metro, the agency was retained to highlight the venue’s experiential entertainment edge. In a lodge-like lumberjack-themed bar atmosphere, guests can experience what it’s like to throw hatchets at a wooden bullseye  -- as entertainment, of course -- complete with beer, wine and malt beverages, plus a  photo area. To garner media attention, the team challenged journalists to come and throw the hatchets for themselves and partake in the fun ambiance.  For those that hesitated, the team basically offered a demonstration in-studio. The media outreach to local and national press netted more than 723 million media impressions, including The New York Times, Time Out New York, Metro, Mashable, Patch, and BKLYNER. 

A Digital Influencer Outreach Program Brings Credibility to a Kickstarter

Tatul

Before tattoo-brightening beauty product Tatul tapped Kickstarter to crowdfund the innovative new skincare tool, they needed third-party endorsements and testimonials from their target audience: Millennial women. Since evaluating a product means trial, we created a special vetting process to identify the best possible online beauty and cosmetic influencers who would spread the word about Tatul. The criteria designed to vet participants was by influence, ranking, size of social networks and views. Some of the most influential tattooed Millennials on the web landed on our influencer list. We then invited hundreds to participate and create social media posts, videos, tweets and blogs about their experience using the product. Armed with several high-quality placements from influencers in their target demographic, we were able to re-purpose them to help add credibility to their Kickstarter campaign.

Helping a Municipality Integrate The Science of Wellbeing Into Government Policies

Santa Monica Wellbeing Project

The City of Santa Monica needed to better understand the community for more informed policies and community initiatives, but realized that it lacked the right type of data. So it set out to do something that had never been done before: integrate the science of wellbeing into the foundation of the local government. The core of the Wellbeing Project, the city’s winning entry in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayor’s Challenge, is a comprehensive index of analysis developed in partnership with renowned research firm RAND Corporation and New Economics Foundation. The agency worked closely with the project to distill and communicate the data for public consumption, consulted on website development and to assist in strategically implementing change within the city based upon findings. The launch of the index solidified the city’s thought leadership platform in sustainability and health and wellness.

Celebrating An Iconic Landmark

Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier, the West Coast’s last remaining pleasure pier, turned 100 years old. Its rich history conjured up nostalgia of a bygone era. When called upon to awaken memories, our agency brought it all back by engaging the surrounding community as well as national and international tourists as part of the celebration. We launched a nationwide online and offline media blitz focusing on the iconic pier’s legacy and its value for future generations, as well on a series of celebratory events such as the SideShow at the Pier, Schools Out!, La Monica Ballroom Redux and Centennial Day, to gain exposure and get a myriad of stories out about the pier. Social media outreach alone netted an estimated 3 million impressions plus 400 million media impressions.

Creating a National Media Presence for a Real Estate Firm

RKF

With media reporting frequently on the economic impact of retail and real estate, RKF, the nation’s largest independent retail real estate firm, wanted to increase its presence in the media. They needed a PR agency with an excellent track record of media relations in a variety of industries, especially in hyper-competitive urban markets that are notoriously cynical about food, fashion and retail positioning in emerging submarkets. We positioned the firm’s senior leadership and national brokers as experts in their industry who can speak to “big picture” topics impacting the nation and local markets. We worked closely with them to determine long-term trends in key urban retail markets, and developed specific relationships with major trade publications in real estate, luxury/lifestyle, fashion, food, technology and business. As a result, RKF has significantly increased its presence in national mainstream news and trade media

A Corporate Rebranding and Repositioning

Rain Bird

Before the global water scarcity and drought crisis reached its present fever pitch, the 75-year-old irrigation manufacturer understood that it faced a potential environmental crisis perception — simply for being an irrigation company, which carried an implication of wasting water. The agency positioned the company as a thought leader in water conservation as it relates to the lawn and garden industry, and created a new campaign coined “The Intelligent Use of Water.” We developed a roadmap for a sustainable, multi-pronged program with multiple touch points that included industry white papers, bi-annual Intelligent Use of Water global summits, film competitions, awards programs, partnerships, grade school curriculums, Tournament of Roses Parade participation and more. Its position as an industry leader in landscape water conservation insights, was solidified.

A Local Event Turned National Celebration

Route 66

Perhaps the most storied romantic road in American history, Historic Route 66 had an official start in Chicago, but no official end; rather, numerous disputed ends. Multiple organizations, including the Route 66 Alliance, the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation and the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau, asked the agency to organize a campaign and event to finally give recognition that the official end of Route 66 belonged to the iconic Santa Monica Pier. The Pier and Route 66 used history to their advantage as a way to engage local community members to rally for the preservation of these landmarks. A parade of 66 vintage cars drove down the Pier, where dignitaries unveiled a replica Route 66 sign, marking the official end of the route.

Educating the Public About Internet Domains

Punto 2012

Punto 2012, a Mexico City-based company with years of experience in online marketing and SEO for restaurants, quickly realized that the .com space was too crowded; the search for restaurants was too difficult if they had long, complicated domain names. They saw a need for food-related businesses to form their own Internet “neighborhood” and from there, bought the .REST and .BAR domain names; .REST is the abbreviation for “restaurant” in more than 30 languages and more than 50 countries. We developed and executed an aggressive media relations strategy and thought leadership platform, coordinated with the agency’s Worldcom partners in six countries. Additionally, all partner agencies sought strategic partnerships with influencers, such as food bloggers and TV hosts, and restaurant associations across the United States.

The Power of Animation and Laughter

PowToon

PowToon, a software that puts the power of animation into anyone’s hands, took its latest interface deep into the Hadza region of Tanzania to see if people who have never been introduced to technology can create cartoons. They found animation to be a universal language and a strong tool of communication. The resulting two-minute video, released on PowToon’s blog and social media channels was geared to influence the influencers about the power of animation. It chronicled their journey, which began with a desire to test the software’s ease of use with the world’s most isolated tribe platform, and evolved into an exploration of the human spirit and the unifying power of communication through art. Of note, the PowToon explorers learned about Hadza’s serious healthcare issues facing the region and were able to connect them with local doctors who previously had been unable to reach them. The agency counseled PowToon on the release of a video and used it to raise awareness for the power of animation and how technology can bring people together.

Renewing National Interest In An Overlooked Presidential Legacy

National Notary Association

Promoting the new book, “Why Coolidge Matters,” was a call for public attention to the national trade association that serves 4.8 million notaries nationwide and the oft-overlooked legacy of Calvin Coolidge. We sought out and enlisted Christopher Coolidge Jeter, the former U.S. president’s great-grandson, to participate in a satellite media tour. Our campaign also partnered with the Library of Congress to host a launch event on the anniversary of President Coolidge’s inauguration, and secured Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Governor Jim Douglas (R-VT) as key spokespeople on a thought leadership platform. The agency secured a full hour-long discussion on President Coolidge in the context of the book’s themes on The Glenn Beck Show, and was added to the host’s “must read” book list.

For Your Consideration: Media Awareness Powers USC to a #1 Ranking

USC Marshall School of Business

The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business is comprised of international scholars and experts that had remained largely un-recognized or unknown outside academia. In order for Greif to raise its visibility among major business schools’ rankings and list position, we needed to bring the attention to its stellar faculty. We launched a media outreach campaign to re-introduce Greif through its faculty’s accomplishments. We targeted individual judges who influence national university rankings and a developed a comprehensive informational campaign to reach them, and placed bylined op-eds in major local and national business publications. After garnering national coverage, Greif was ranked by Success Magazine as the number one program for entrepreneurial studies in the country.

Breaking Through The Clutter of Holiday Product Launches

NextSport

Launching a holiday campaign for toys can be challenging as the gift-buying season is often congested with dozens of new product launches, all fighting for a spot under the proverbial Christmas tree. We needed to help position the Fuzion Electron, a four-wheel sports scooter from NextSport, as one of the must-have items of the season.  By targeting both potential riders (children under age 7 and under 135 pounds) and those with the purchasing power (parents), we pitched Fuzion Electron to kids as the “it” product for the next generation of scooters. For parents, the agency emphasized the product as a safer lifestyle alternative to two-wheel scooters, with a less expensive price point than most traditional “big item” holiday gifts for children.

The Last Great Main Street Bank

Farmers & Merchants Bank

In an era where small main street banks had fallen into the shadows, one family bank, Farmers and Merchant’s Bank (F&M) with 23 branches in Southern California, passionately preserved its traditional focus on community values and conservative approaches. However, F&M recognized its need for greater external exposure to retain its leadership position in the communities it serves. It tapped the agency to garner media attention for its community sponsored events, as well as to position its executives as thought leaders on subjects such as lending and regional banking. The stories that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, American Banker and the Los Angeles Business Journal, supported the bank’s goal of reaching deep into the communities and being recognized as banking leaders upon which the communities could continue to depend.

Changing Perceptions about Public Transportation

Commute 90067

More than 40,000 commuters drive through Century City every day, causing tremendous traffic congestion in Los Angeles. The Century City Transportation Management Organization (CCTMO) was organized by area business leaders looking to increase awareness of the benefits of alternative transportation.

We created a commuter’s resource platform, Commute 90067, and launched an awareness campaign about the benefits of alternative transportation for commuting. The platform efficiently charted out bus routes, paired carpoolers and organized vanpools.

The Commute 90067 campaign included traditional and digital advertising, transit and street pole advertising, street team marketing, incentives, and events. Additionally, we developed partnerships with commercial real estate companies and their business tenets to communicate Commute 90067 to their staff through meetings and incentive programs. The extensive awareness program enabled CCTMO to reach its goal of reducing traffic into and out of Century City by 12,000 cars.

Strategic PR Counsel For Startups Developing a Brand

Altra Biofuels

When Altra Biofuels, an ethanol and biofuel startup, began operating in this crowded sector, its founders and backers knew that it had to gain credibility and build a positive reputation quickly to secure a leadership position in this space. We focused on Altra’s senior executives, positioning them as credible sources for commentary and predictions about the alternative energy sector—as well as about legislative news that affected the industry. We targeted national media outlets to drive coverage of Altra’s achievements, including its acquisition of existing biofuel production facilities, ground-breaking at new facilities, expanded production for energy plants, and the achievement of other notable benchmarks. Altra has been prominently featured in the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg and Business Week, among others.

Grassroots Efforts That Engaged The Neighborhood

Baskin-Robbins, 31-Cent Scoop Night

Re-branding is never a simple matter, especially when it involves more than 70 individual storeowners — all entrepreneurs, and franchisees of a 60-year old established brand – Baskin-Robbins. So when our partner, Schneider Associates, asked our firm to support Baskin-Robbins’ “new retail look” in Southern California, it fell to the agency to manage each individual store’s grassroots efforts, as well as its engagement in experiential programming.  The overall marketing effort extended to creative educational programs and special local events such as a “31-cent scoop night” at 31 Baskin-Robbins stores.

Driving Education and Awareness of National Public Gardens

National Public Gardens Day

National Public Gardens Day was all about fostering public programs, resources and educational initiatives to instill the importance of environmental preservation and landscape water conservation. In partnership with American Public Gardens Association (APGA), the agency created an annual National Public Gardens Day to inform of the vital role of APGA’s more than 500 gardens and arboreta in promoting environmental stewardship, plant and water conservation and education. On-the-ground agency partners were tapped in five markets to stimulate local interest and support a national media outreach program. On the pre-celebration day a Satellite Media Tour was launched together with a government outreach program and an expansive social media component. The result was a staggering. The 782 million media impressions promoted ecosystem management and the efficient use of water.

An Experiential Fundraising Campaign Mobilizes The Nation

USO

With more than 2.5 million men and women serving in the armed forces and more than 4 million family members, the troops and their families depend upon the USO for critical programs and support. While the USO thrives through donations from major corporations and strategic partners, the agency, as their agency of record, saw an opportunity to tap an under-represented source of income through grassroots individual fundraising. Events such as Barbecue for the Troops, (leveraging the quintessential summer backyard barbecue), and Dance for the Troops, targeting school dances and New Year’s galas, were designed to mobilize individuals into throwing fundraisers in their local communities. Each campaign was supported with media relations, strategic partnerships, and organizational outreach.

Influencing The Influencer

SANYO

When Sanyo Corporation tapped the agency to introduce their new Xacti Sound Recorder, we recognized that adoption without trial first would be near impossible; after all, the market was already flooded with recorders that claimed to be the best. So we targeted musical influencers to review the product and encouraged them to spread the word within their own networks to advocate for the product and brand organically. We reached out to musicians across all music genres, from rock to classical, music educators, songwriters and performers. After that, we engaged music fans and consumers through an agency-designed microsite and online contest. In just four months, 50 media outlets requested the unit for review well before the product even rolled out to market.

Media Relations Makes Everything Come Up Roses

Fiesta Parade Floats, Rose Parade

Fiesta Parade Floats (FPF), a 35 year-old builder of parade floats for the annual New Year’s Day Rose Parade, had kept a relatively low profile despite having assembled a team of world-renowned design and floral technology experts. We leveraged every opportunity to maximize media exposure by expanding the focus beyond the parade itself and on to the development of the floats from the float design and construction process through the final pre-parade flower decorating. Over five years of working with the local, regional and national media — the last week of the year, working from 4 am to almost midnight, daily — FPF was catapulted into the limelight by an enchanted media.

Partnering With The Global Leader In Drip Irrigation

Netafim

The company that first introduced drip irrigation technology to the world over 50 years ago, needed to expand its presence in both traditional and new crop markets as farmers were increasingly faced with drought conditions and decreased access to water. Netafim looked to the agency not only to bolster its media relations and marketing programs, but also to pave the way for a transformation of the way the company positions itself and its product offerings. The agency has been instrumental in helping Netafim restructure its dealer incentive and marketing program, forge relationships with key agricultural and environmental influentials and academics, develop sales and marketing tools, as well as conceptualize and execute marketing and advertising campaigns for the landscape and agriculture divisions.

A National Partnership For Military Support

Bob Evans

Bob Evans Farms Inc., a leading producer and distributor of refrigerated and frozen convenience food items, was exploring ways of showing support for military members and their families while also strengthening its ties to the local community it serves. We were retained for the Bob Evans “Our Farm Salutes” program to partner with a military not-for-profit organization to further the brand’s goals of providing meals and donations to programs that support the military active duty, veterans and their families. We conceived the idea to paint its barn – an iconic symbol in Rio Grande, Ohio – purple, representing the color of all branches of the military. We also secured a partnership with The Gary Sinise Foundation and produced PSAs that featured the actor and director of the Foundation, as well as a campaign video. The purple barn visual attracted significant media attention with regional news and military media trade outlets.  Results from data surveys clearly indicated an uptick in favorability perceptions for the Bob Evans brand.