Conventions give access to opinion leaders, media

PHILADELPHIA: With the GOP convention in Philadelphia revving into gear and the Democratic get-together in Los Angeles just a few weeks away, PR agencies have frantically been trying to get themselves and their clients in front of what Philly-based pro Tom Thoren calls ’a cream of the crop audience.’

PHILADELPHIA: With the GOP convention in Philadelphia revving into gear and the Democratic get-together in Los Angeles just a few weeks away, PR agencies have frantically been trying to get themselves and their clients in front of what Philly-based pro Tom Thoren calls ’a cream of the crop audience.’

PHILADELPHIA: With the GOP convention in Philadelphia revving into

gear and the Democratic get-together in Los Angeles just a few weeks

away, PR agencies have frantically been trying to get themselves and

their clients in front of what Philly-based pro Tom Thoren calls ’a

cream of the crop audience.’



Like many of his local peers, Thoren, a SVP at Tierney Communications,

has been preparing to accommodate every potential audience. ’Fifteen

thousand of the attendees will be members of the news media,’ he said.

’Then there are all the delegates. And when you take away the label of

’delegate’ and see who they are, you have key opinion leaders in their

states.’



Tierney made early overtures to potential clients seeking to reach

convention delegates, forged an alliance with an event-management firm

and partnered with DC-based lobbyist The Dutko Group. The result was an

ad hoc firm called Convention Strategies, which held seminars on how to

reach the convention crowds.



For Pegasus, a direct-television distribution company whose business is

concentrated in the heartland, Convention Strategies implemented a PR

push to reach delegates from rural states. Similarly, for client

American Water Works Company, the largest privately held water utility,

Tierney planned to distribute bottles of water with information about

the company in the hope that it will reach local officials seeking to

improve or privatize their community’s water supply.



PECO, an energy company, provided energy to the GOP convention host

committee at a discount - and in the process received tons of valuable

local PR, according to company voice Michael Wood. ’The conventions are

an opportunity to build relationships with legislators in Congress and

people that might be in the future administration,’ said Wood.



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